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151. Brief Historical Review of the Life of Belinda Marden Pratt; Written by herself in Salt Lake City, Utah; February 17, 1884.

The [Nauvoo] Temple was completed so far as to give endowments therein and sometime in December [1845] I received my endowments and blessings therein, and was again sealed over the Altar.

On January first 1846 I had a son born who was named Nephi by his Father. Sometime in this month or the first of Feb I received my second anointing in the [Nauvoo] Temple.

152. “A Sketch of the Life of Mrs. Sarah Burbank, Written at Richmond, Utah March 13, 1924, by Herself at the age of 89 years.”., Ms/d/136/Bx l/fd 26; c1884.

Forty years ago [1884], when President Merril was the President in the logan Temple he gave me a great blessing while I was there with my husband having our second endowments. He said my mission on this earth was to tend the sick. He commanded me to go forth and take care of the sick. * * * It is evident that this blessing was inspired and he also said I would live long on the earth and be a queen among queens in the eternal worlds and said many more great things that I cannot remember at this time. I had to be helped into the temple but walked out without help. This had always been a strong testimony to me.

153. Jesse N. Smith “Journal”; September 25, 1884; Church Historical Dept.

[Elder Erastus Snow speaking at Taylor, Utah:]

Let us be careful not to take upon ourselves these Covenants [of plural marriage] too hastily, before we have had a proper training. The Lord is trying to elevate his people upon a higher plane, to be Kings and priests unto him forever. We can only come upon this higher plane by putting away evil from our midst.

154. John D. T. McAllister Papers. Incoming Correspondence. Church Archives. Ms/d/1257/Bx3/fd4.

St George Utah

4th Dec 1885

President J. D. T. McAllister

St. George Temple

My Dear Brother

To satisfy a feeling which has been on my mind for some time. I submit the following; My Son George Q. who died in this City when he was 18 years and 21 days old, was very faithful to us as a son, and also in the Holy Priesthood so far as he had opportunity when a Deacon, he was 1st Councilor to the President of the Quorum, which position he filled honorably, untill ordained an Elder, previous to receiving his Endowment. He was appointed Clk of the (p. 2) 1st Quorum of Elders in the Stake, being naturally of a religious turn of mind it seemed natural for him to perform his spiritual duties. He acted as a Teacher in the Ward, with entire satisfaction to the Saints up to the time of his death.

When on his death bed I asked him if there was any thing that he would like me to do for him, he said “I would like you to have some wives sealed to me.” According to this request I have had two girls who died in the Church sealed to him. Two others, apreciating his worth have expressed a desire to have their daughters sealed to him, which will be done. These tokens of respect fills our hearts (p. 3) with joy feeling as we do, that our dear boy was worthy.

Now the question is, do you think he was old enough to receive his 2d Anointing?

Bro McAllister it is not my desire to seek blessings for my sons that they are not entitled to. But I had great hopes in this son, for I fully appreciated his worth, and would like to see that every blessing was put in his reach, to which his faithfulness entitled him.

You as the Prest. of the St George Stake knew him, hence I submit the question to you.

I am very respectfully

Your Brother in the Gospel

/s/ D. H. Cannon

155. John D. T. McAllister Papers. Incoming Correspondence. Church Archives. Ms/d/1257/Bx3/fd4.

D H Cannon

St George Temple

4th Decr 1885

Dec 9/ 85

Dear President Taylor

I can fully endorse the words expressed by Bp D. H. Cannon in relation to his son George Q. He lived and died a good young man.

I think you are acquainted with him, as also his Uncle George Q.

I address this to you personally.

God our Father be with you all.

Your Bro. in the Gospel

/s/ John D. T. McAllister

156. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949. Church Archives. October 1885-March 1886, p. 321. CR/1/20/#10/Vol 10.

Decr 9th 1885

President John D. T. McAllister.

St. George Temple.

Dear Brother:

Though the deceased son of Bishop David H. Cannon–George Q.– was quite young when he died, still as he is so highly recommended, you may administer to his representative and the representative of the deceased who have been seal’d to him the ordinance of Second Anointing.

With Kind regards,

Your Brother.

/s/ John Taylor

157. John Taylor (#110). Letter book #11, Mar 1886 Oct 1887 Ltr dtd March 4, 1886.

March 4, 1886

Mrs. Eliza Perry Benson

Logan Temple

Dear Sister:

Your letter asking the priviledge of 2nd anointing for your parents John Perry and Grace Williams Perry who are deceased, has been received.

You are at liberty to have them officiated for and receive their 2nd Anointings; but those who officiate for them must be those who have already had that sacred ordinance.

By presenting this to Bro. M. W. Merrill he will have the Ordinance attended to.

Very respectfully,

John Taylor

158. Letter of Zebedee Coltrin. File no. Ms D747, Papers of Zebedee Coltrin Church Archives, Old Church Office Bldg. May 1, 1886.

Logan May lst 1886

President John Taylor may I ask a favor of You. I wish to have my father adopted to President Joseph Smith it was my Fathers wish when he was alive.

I am here to do some work and would be very much pleased to have this work done.

I also wish to give my Bro. Graham and his two wives their second annointing.

No more at present I am yours as ever

Your Bro. In the Gospel

Zebedee Coltrin

159. John Taylor Papers. Church Archives. Ms/d/1346/Bx19/fd11.

Cedar City Iron Co Utah

May 11, 1886

President John Taylor

Dear Brother.

The theme of my correspondence on the present occasion will be a subject that has engrossed my mind for many years and especially of late.

I have just returned from St George wither I had been with a portion of my family to work for my dead relatives and friends in the Temple of the Lord.

I find in looking over my record that my Father died an Elder; I recd for him some 7 years ago his second anointings. He was a good man and was called hence without a moments warning by a Stoke of lightning at the age of 63. He was Killed on Beaver City some 27 years ago and I am very desirious to receive for him the ordination as an High Priest that he may belong to the same quorum as my Brother Joshua and myself If it meets with your approval. (p. 2) Bro Erastus Snow was some little acquainted with Father and to him I refer as his advocate.

My Brother Joshua had his failings, like many more, but my mind has been set at rest for many years in regard to his present condition and situation in the spirit world. He was never cut off the Church altho he demeaned himself very improperly for some time before his death and no doubt brought about his early demise thro his bad habit of drinking. Nevertheless from manifestations I have received since his death I am satisfied that he has sorrowfully repented and is now engaged in doing all the good he can on the other side. If it meets with your approval I would very much like him to receive his second anointings. I was rebaptized for him in the Temple at St George some 8 years ago I take pleasure in mentioning the names of Judge Elias Smith and Prest Daniel H Wells as his advocates.

I have another Brother dead named Benjamin he lived on Greenville Beaver Co (p. 3) also died in the faith. I should be pleased to receive for him his second anointings and will mention the name of Prest John R. Murdock of Beaver Stake as his advocate.

I hope dear brother you will not deem me presumptous in asking for blessings for my dead relatives–they are very dear to me and I am fully satisfied that the three I have mention’d are doing all they can according to their calling and Priesthood to further on the work of the Lord where they are–I have done for them all I can–I have recd the blessings mention’d for myself and earnestly wish that these near and dear to my heart should share in the same blessings and privileges that I by the clemency of the Priesthood have been permitted to receive.

Praying the Lord to shield and protect you and the brethrn with you in the future as he has in the past and with due respect I desire to subscribe myself you[r] Brother in the Gospel

/s/ C J Arthur

[L. John Nuttall indicated on the letter that it was received by the office on 15 May 1886]

160. John Taylor Letters, Box 26, File 4 CHO, SLC, Utah June 6, 1886.

Salt Lake City

June 6th, 1886

President John Taylor

Dear Brother

Three years ago I got ready by the council of Apostle George Teasdale to go to St. George, to attend to Temple work also to get my second anointings in connection with my wives. One of my wives Maria was taken sick which hindered me from going at that time, afterward my wife Eliza now seventy nine years old, became too feable to travel that distance. I have been in hiding Seventeen months past but I think I can go safely to the Logan Temple. I aske if I now with my wives can have the privilege of this great blessing. I therefore think and feel as if I ought not to neglect this matter any longer if the privelege is mine I would also like my first wife Ann who is dead, died three years and a half ago, to recieve the blessing through one of my living wives acting for her.

Please endorse upon the recommends, if you will grant me this privilege and return to me that I may know how to prepare, as I am not known by my riqht name here please send the recommends to Brother Joseph E. Taylor with whom I am acquainted.

I will see him and ask him to recieve them for me.

I remain your Brother in the Gospel

/s/ John S. Hawkins

161. First Presidency Letterbook Copybooks, 1877-1949, Vol 13:111. Church Archives. CR/1/20/#12. Under date and page given.

Sept 18th 1886

Bishop C. J. Arthur.

Cedar City

Dear Brother:

Enclosed please find the endorsed recommends of the two widows of your father-in law for them to get their Second Anointing; and you are at liberty to act for him and receive this ordinance with them in his behalf.

Enclosed is seen a certificate for Marion Brown Arthur. As we suppose this was your wife I have endorsed it for her to receive her second anointing; though you do not mention, or ask in the letter. If this is not your wife, she ought not to receive her second anointing on the strength of this recommend.

With Kind Regards,

Your Brother,

/s/ John Taylor

162. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949. Volume 14:12-13. Church Archives. CR/1/20/#12. 

November 18th 1886

Prest. J.D.T. McAllister

St George.

Dear Brother:

In reply to your letter of the 12th of November. There is no objection to Brother Noah Brimhall receiving his second anointing and I have endorsed his recommend accordingly. But his present wife cannot be anointed to him as she is only his wife for time, and when she receives her anointings to her deceased husband, Bailey Lake, his other two wives should also receive theirs.

If Brother Brimhall were to act for Bailey Lake and she were to be anointed to him as proxy, it might lead to confusion. The better way, in order that the records may be straight, is for some one to act for Brother Lake and the three wives be anointed at the same time. Brother George Lake having one these wives and being his brothers heir could do this with the greatest (p. 2) propriety, if he should be worthy of the ordinance.

Under the circumstances I think Brother Brimhall had better get a relative of his own, or of his deceased wifes, or in the absence of such a relative, some friend who has had her second anointing to act as proxy for his deceased wife, and let Sister Lavina Jones Lake Brimhall wait for this ordinance until arrangements can be made for the other wives of Brother Lake to join her in obtaining this ordinance

With Kind regards

Your Brother.

/s/ John Taylor

163. Letter of Eliza R. Snow to President John Taylor Eliza R. Snow Letter file in CHO. December 12, 1886.

I think President Taylor will recollect a young English sister in Nauvoo by the name of Hannah Ells. She was sealed to Joseph the Prophet before his death. She died in Nauvoo in sister Sarah Kimball’s house. I loved her very much–was present at her death. I have had endowments for her. Sister Zina is in Logan and will, with your permission, have second anointing for her.

164. Letter of B F Johnson to Pres. John Taylor. January 29, 1887.

St George Jan 29th -87

Pres John Taylor

Dear Brother

I again come to you For Temple Priviledges for Those I feel asured are of The Worthy Dead. . . .

. . .–May He Recive his 2d Anointing through me as Proxy and may some of my wives rec for her ?

. . .and as I have great Love for him as a friend I do wish to do his further work and get for him & wife his 2d anointings & if it would be right–and so wait and hope, for another favorable Reply. and Remain very Truly yours

B F Johnson


And now it has come to me to ask the Priviledge of 2d anointing for my son James Fransis, who is the Present Bishop at Tempe, and I think Bps Agent of that Stake. He is over 30 years of age and apears really one of the comeing young men of Zion. and as he expects to come for me the coming spring or early Summer, I should much like if you felt it like his priviledge, that he too have his 2d anointing while Here


165. Woman’s Exponent, Kanab, Utah; April 1, 1887; A Welcome by M. Elizabeth Little to Eliza R. Snow & Zina Huntington.

We welcome Sisters Eliza and Zina, as our Elect Lady and her Counselor as the presidents of all the feminine portion of the human race. Although few recognize their right to this authority yet we know they have been set apart as leading priestesses of this dispensation. As such we honor them. We welcome them as the honored wives of our revered and martyred prophet Joseph Smith.

166. L. John Nuttall Journal, Vol. 2:120, BYU Spec Coll; July 11, 1887.

A letter was recd (July 11/87) from Bro. E. G. Williams of Ogden, asking for 2nd anointings for himself and wives, living & dead, a letter was written to Prest. Shurtliff & counselors asking for information as to this Brother.

167. L. John Nuttall Journal, Vol. 2:125, BYU Spec Coll; July 25, 1887.

A letter was received from Prest L. W. Shurtliff, Ogden, July 22, respecting the request of Brother Ezra G. Williams for 2nd Anointing which was approved and Bro. William’s letter was so endorsed for himself and wives living and dead.

168. Letter of Pres. Woodruff to Elder James H. Martineau. Letter dated 2 September 1887.

Sept. 2nd. 1887

Elder James H. Martineau


Dear Brother:

The Indian girl Viroqua Johnson concerning whose second anointings you write to me, I think is a case that should be deferred for the present. You are at liberty to have her baptized for and have someone have Endowments for her: but at present I think it is improper for the ordinance of Second Anointing to be administered in her behalf.

With kind regards

Your Brother. Wilford Woodruff

169. Letter from Pres. Wilford Woodruff. 19 September 1887.

Sept. 19th, 1887

Elder J. H. Martineau

Logan, Utah

Dear Brother,

Your letter of the 14th inst., in which you suggest the propriety of Sister Adeline B. Benson, wife of Brother E. T. Benson, deceased, acting for the wife of Brother Joel H. Johnson, who is deceased, in receiving second anointings, has been received and considered.

I see no objection to Sister Benson acting in this capacity for Sister Johnson inasmuch as she is the latter’s friend and Sister Johnson has none other kin who are in a position to receive this ordinance for her.

With kind regards. Your Brother,

Wilford Woodruff

170. Letter from Wilford Woodruff, 26 October 1887.

October 26th, 1887

Elder James H. Martineau


Dear Brother,

Your letter of the 18th inst. in which you express your wishes concerning an Indian girl who has been sealed to you receiving her second anointing, and also respecting her doing work for 7 or 8 of the early martyrs, unmarried women, and having them sealed to you, has been received.

I think it is better for you to defer the ordinance of second anointing for this indian girl who has been sealed to you since her death. It will be no lost to her for the present.

As to the martyrs of whom you speak, we see no impropriety in having the ordinance of baptism attended to for them, especially if you know who they are: but before having them sealed to you, you should certainly have some knowledge of them and of your right to have them, as others may claim that they have a better right than you hereafter.

With kind regards,

Your Brother,

Wilford Woodruff

171. Emma Smith Woodruff Collection. Church Historian’s Office. 1887(?).

James Pexton died 1st May 1887, born 9th March 1831.

His wife Hannah Pexton married him in England and they were sealed in the Endowment House 1855. He took another wife considerably neglected his first and she obtained a divorce from him through the courts. Now comes the question of Second Anointing raised by the eldest son who [is] doing work in the Temple, wished his father to receive his full blessings with his mother Hannah Pexton. She reports to James Pexton came to her in a dream and asked her to forgive him. She is willing to forgive him. Wishes to know if she should be resealed to him, and whether it would be proper for him to have his full blessings and she enjoy the same with him. The son James D. Pexton is 39 years of age [and is the] 2nd Counselor to Bp Thos H. G. Parks of the North Ward Nephi. Is he old enough to receive his full blessings? and then stand for his father. Sister Hannah Pexton who lives in Nephi, called upon Pres. Woodruff and asked these questions and it was taken under advisement.

(signed) George Teasdale

172. Diaries of Joseph Fish, p. 179; Mor/M270.1/F527; November 6, 1887.

Nov. 6, Sunday. These men [Apostle J. H. Smith, Pres. J.N. Smith, and L.H. Hatch] held meeting at 2 P.M. and at 7 P.M. I received a very kind and interesting letter from M.M. Steele in which he suggested that I go back to Utah and get my second anointing.

173. Samuel Bateman “Diary”; Mor/M270.1/B317; November 30, 1887.

Wednesday the 30. At Do. Got up at half past 6 o’clock. After breakfast we all went to the Temple. I was ordained an elder by Bro. A. Peterson in behalf of my dead Father and got endowments for him and took my Mother through the veil and also stood proxy for my Father at the altar for my mother to be sealed to him; also took both of my wives through the veil; also my daughter, Marinda, and had our 4 oldest children sealed to us. And my wives and I received our second anointings under the hands of President Merrill and Bro. Moore. In the evening Joseph E. Taylor came to Sister Curtis’s. Snowed about 2 inches in the night.

174. George Thomas Journal; Univ of Utah Library; November 30, 1887.

George Thomas, Sr. Received his second anointings on Nov. 30, 1887 under the hands of M. W. Merrill in Logan Temple. Martha Howells Thomas and Mary Ann Griffiths Thomas Wives of George Thomas Received their second anointings on Dec. 23rd 1887 in Logan Temple.

[Note: The two wives had already passed away prior to 1887, and therefore the work was performed for them by proxy.]

175. Diary of Winslow Farr, p. 73; Mor/M270.1/F248; 1887.

I continued to work for the firm for many months & attended to my duties as a Bishop of the 3rd Ward Ogdon & Done work in the Logan Temple for the Dead received my 2nd anointings in connection with my wives [p. 156] Br James Banes & wife was adopted in to my family & got their 2nd anointings the happy day I ever saw.

176. Letter from Pres. Wilford Woodruff, 24 January 1888.

January 24th, 1888

President Angus M. Cannon,

Salt Lake Stake.

Dear Brother,–

Your letter in reply to mine upon the subject of second anointings for Brother George Lufkin and Brother James Townsend, has been received and considered.

Whoever attends to the ordinances for Brother Townsend should certainly take his last wife to the Temple with them, so that she might receive the blessing as well as the deceased wife. Is Brother George Lufkin the proper person, who is as worthy as he, who is nearer as heir to the Townsend Family than he is? If he is the proper partyto represent Brother Townsend, under the circumstances you are at liberty to inform him that if he will get his recommendation properly signed, I will endorse it for him to receive his second anointing and to act for Brother Townsend, on condition, also, that he takes Brother Townsend’s surviving wife with him.

Now, in relation to the other subject which you mention–the cases of worthy men and women who are aged who have not had their second anointings, and who, are waiting to have this privilege accorded to them, being counseled by, you not to ask for the privilege. We think such cases deserve consideration, and where you know of aged men and woman who are worthy to receive this ordinance, I would like you to forward their names to me for consideration: and these that we decide as proper persons to receive this ordinance can have their recommendations signed to that effect.

With kind regards,

I am

Your Brother,

W. Woodruff.

177. Letter from Pres. Wilford Woodruff, 7 February 1888.

On February 7th, 1888

Mrs. E. J. D. Townsend,

Your letter of the 4th., describing your case in past relations and your wish concerning receiving your second anointings again, came duly to hand and has been considered. I think you should be permitted to have your second anointings with your husband, Brother Townsend, and if a recommendation be forwarded to me, properly signed by your Bishop and the president of the stake, I will have it endorsed for you to receive that ordinance with your husband.

With kind regards,

your brother,

W. Woodruff.

178. Letter to Pres. Wilford Woodruff, dtd 24 February 1888, from Eliza I. Jones; lOth Ward, Salt Lake City; Church Archives; Wilford Woodruff Collection.


  Salt Lake City Feb 24th

President Woodruff Dear Brother

Will you please answer a few questions. I wish to ask. you I am the widow of Thomas. C Jones of your Circle he died soon after we came from Logan Temple working for our Dead and having our 2d Ontingins where we told to attend to the Washing of Feet at home the baby was sick after we came home so I asked Bro Jones when we should attend to it and he said we had better wait till the baby is better but he was taken sick and Died before it was attended to can that be done by Proxy or not as I feel sorry about it for he was a good man and I gave him 2 living Wives and 3 Dead ones and worked hard to help him to keep them.

[Letter from Pres. Woodruff to Eliza I. Jones; Church Archives under date:]

Feb. 24th, 1888.

Mr. Eliza I. Jones

lOth Ward, Salt Lake City

Dear Sister:

The ordinance of which you speak, and which you say you failed to attend to before the death of your husband, is one that should not be written about, and it cannot be attended to by proxy. Your husband is dead and, so far as the ordinances is concerned, it is all right.

179. Letter from Wilford Woodruff, March 8, 1888.

March 8th, i888

Elder Brigham Young,

Dear Brother,

Sister Zina D. H. Young has written to me concerning two of your father’s deceased wives receiving their second anointings. She desires to officiate for them, to which I have consented. As you are the heir, some arrangements should be made by yourself and her for some person to act in your father’s stead in this ordinance. She will probably try to see you. If you can communicate with her and let her know where you can be found, no doubt she will appreciate it.

With kind regards,

Your Brother,

W. Woodruff

180. Letter from Pres. Wilford Woodruff, 29 March 1888.

March 29th, 1888

Prest. M. W. Merrill,

Logan Temple.

Dear Brother:

Brother Lyman 0. Little field has applied to me for the ordinance of second anointing for himself and his wives, whom he represents as 8 in number. Brother Littlefield is one of Zion’s Camp and I think that he is entitled to this sacred ordinance. You will, therefore, please administer it to him and his living wife or wives, and to them also on behalf of his deceased wife.

With kind regards,

Your Brother,

W. Woodruff

181. Letter from Pres. Wilford Woodruff, 23 April 1888.

April 23rd, 1888

President M. W. Merrill

Logan Temple

Dear Brother:

Brother Lyman 0. Littlefield’s wife was the widdow of Bro. Luman Heath, a faithful elder in the Church, who died many years ago. She was sealed to her husband in the Nauvoo Temple and at that time acted as proxy for a deceased wife of Brother Heath’s. Bro. Littlefield has applied to me to have the privilege granted to officiate for Bro. Luman Heath, that he and his deceased wife and sister Littlefield should receive their second anointing. You are hereby authorized to administer this ordinance to Bro. Littlefield for Bro. Heath, and to his wife (who is Bro. Heath’s wife for eternity) for the sister Heath who is dead, and for herself.

With kind regards,

I remain your brother

Wilford Woodruff

182. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, Vol 18:841-843 CR/1/20/#15.


Salt Lake City, Utah, May 22, 1888

Bishop S. A. Woolley,

Ninth Ward, Salt Lake City.

Dear Brother:

I have read with interest your favor of the 16th., in which you set forth the circumstances connected with the life and demise of your son Samuel Henry.

I have no doubt that he was a most excellent young man, as what you say about him is fully corroborated by Brother George Q. Cannon, who appears to have been well acquainted with him. It would give me pleasure to grant the request which you make concerning his receiving his second anointing if I did not have a feeling that there is an impropriety in administering this ordinance to young men, either living or dead, at the present time. In the days of the Prophet Joseph and Brigham this ordinance was not sought for and would not have been administered to any who did seek for it. It was administered only to aged people, or men who were advanced in life, who had been well tried and proved. I have received since President Taylor’s death a number of requests from parents and others whose sons have died, asking me to grant them the privilege of officiating in this ordinance on behalf of their sons. I have invariably declined to grant these requests, because I have felt under the circumstances it would not be proper to do so. Your son will lose nothing by not having this attended to now, and you can comfort your heart with the reflection that you have done all that you can for him at [p.2] the present.

You ask whether a person who has once been married in the Endowment House or Temple, and is left a widow or a widower, commit adultery by marrying again when the ceremony is performed by a justice of the peace or civil officer.

There is a manifest impropriety, which every Latter-day Saint who has had his or her endowments should perceive, in such a person going to a civil officer to have a ceremony of marriage performed. The fact that such a person does so is an evidence that he or she is falling away, because if in good standing a recommendation could be obtained for the Temple, where the ceremony could be performed according to the order which God has instituted. But a person marrying under such circumstances does not commit adultery.

You ask some other questions concerning how many living wives a man must have to fulfil the law.

When a man, according to the revelation, marries a wife under the holy order which God has revealed and then marries another in the same way, he enters into the new and everlasting covenant, and so far as he has gone he has obeyed the law. I know of no requirement which makes it necessary for a man to have three living wives at a time.

I enclose herewith the answer to Sister Fail. I sent it to you that you may see its contents and then hand it to her.

The case of Henry Lovesey and Emma Townsend, which you describe, is not very savory one in all its particulars, and I feel that she had better let the matter rest for the present. I do not feel clear in my mind about breaking the seal “with the [p.3] old man” or consenting to the change that she seems anxious to make.

With kind regards,

I remain Your Brother,

W. Woodruff

183. First Presidency Letterpress Copybook, 1877-1949; Vol 18:858. January 1888 to June 1888. Church Archives CR/1/20/#15.


Salt Lake City, Utah, May 24, 1888

Elder J. Don Carlos Young,

Architect Salt Lake Temple.

Dear Brother:

I take the liberty of making the following suggestions to you respecting the Temple as they now occur to us, and it is proper that they should be before you for your consideration, that you may be able as you progress to make the necessary arrangements to carry out these suggestions:

A room should be prepared, convenient to the entrance, for the President of the Temple to hold private interviews with parties who may wish his counsel.

Care should be taken to have the Recorder’s Room conveniently situated for the work they have to do, be well lighted, and should have at least one vault immediately connected with it. It must not be understood from this that one vault only is needed in this Temple. The vaults which are to contain books and papers should be well ventilated, and have communication with the outside air.

In the Logan and Manti Temples the rooms designed for the ordinance of second anointing are quite plain. In this Temple the rooms should be as well situated and at least as elegantly decorated as any other room in the building, so as to impress those who receive this sacred ordinance with its importance and elevated and solemn character. It would be well if two small dressing rooms could be near by or connected with it.

A good room convenient for its purposes should be provided for the President of the Temple; also suitable rooms for the Presidency of the Church and the leading authorities.

We shall from time to time, probably, make further suggestions as they may occur to us in regard to the interior arrangements of the Temple. We desire that the greatest pains will be taken by yourself to have everything done in the most perfect manner, and so carefully considered beforehand that we will not be under the necessity of making changes or tearing down work that has already been done. We know that you have labored under disadvantages because of the incompleteness of the plans turned over to you, and also because of the improvements that you have felt compelled to make in those plans. We would much prefer holding the work in abeyance till you can feel sure that whatever is required to be done is done properly, than to have it pushed forward without the plan being well matured. At any time when you wish to submit any questions concerning the work we shall be glad to accord you an interview upon your notifying us to that effect.

It will be well for you to keep this letter where you can refer to it.

With kind regards, and praying the Lord to bless you in the performance of the important labor entrusted to you,

I remain,

Your Brother,

/s/ Wilford Woodruff

184. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, pp. 135-136, CR/1/20/#16

June 26, 1888

President Daniel H. Wells:

. . . . You mentioned the name of Brother Lewis Anderson, assistant Recorder. I infer that he is a young man: I have felt impressed not to grant permission for this ordinance (2nd Anointing) to be administered to any but aged and faithful men, and if you can get along without administering this ordinance to him, it would be better.

Wilford Woodruff

185. Letter from John D. T. McAllister to Elder Alonzo Russell, August 7th, 1888.

Holiness to the Lord.


P.O. Box 531.

St George, Utah, 7th Aug 1888

Elder Alonzo H. Russell


Dear Brother.

Yourself and wives are approved for Second Anointing.

The Temple will open for ordinance work on the 4th of September next. Bring Temple clothing and two towels each. Kind regards to all in Grafton. Bishop [unreadable].

Your Brother

/s/ John D. T. McAllister

186. Journal of L. John Nuttall, Vol 2:287; September 27, 1888; BYU Spec Coll.

I spoke to Prest Woodruff respecting Peter W. Conover of Provo obtaining his Second anointings. He told me to write to him informing him that he can have those blessings upon submitting his recommend properly signed.

[See February 19, 1889 for Pres. Woodruff’s action on this recommend.]

187. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, p. 763,



Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct 22, 1888

President W. G. Smith


Dear Brother:

Your pencil memeranda, dated Oct 18th, showing a list of names of persons in Morgan Stake deemed worthy to receive their second anointings, came duly to hand.

There seems to be some misunderstanding in these matters by you in sending such a formidable list, and in such a manner as the one received. In such an important matter as second anointings it is not expected that the Stake or the Wards are to be hunted over to find names to recommend for such an ordinance. It is only contemplated that we be furnished with the names of those who are deemed worthy by the Presidency of the Stake, and who are quite aged, and whose life and labors in the Church have been such as to entitle them to this blessing. When such names are submitted the ages of the parties should be noted, and you will be informed as to their acceptance before the parties receive any information or their recommends are endorsed to go to the Temple.

Trusting that you will now understand this matter thoroughly and will act accordingly, and with kind regards,

I am, Your Brother,

W. Woodruff

188. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, p. 781,


Oct 24, 1888

Elder Charles Sperry

. . . . In such sacred matters as second anointings it must be understood that those only who are quite aged, and whose life and labors in the Church entitles them to this blessing shall be recommended by the Presidency of the Stake, and in submitting such names the ages of the parties should be noted.

Wilford Woodruff

189. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, pp. 859-860, CR/1/20/#16.


Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 13, 1888

President D. H. Wells,

Manti Temple.

Dear Brother:–Your letter of Nov. 9th representing the wishes of Sister Sarah Clarke who was sealed to David Wood in Salt Lake City in 1854 to have her second anointings, also to officiate for Brother Wood’s First wife who is dead, has been received.

You say that Brother David Wood received his second anointing in 1867, but neither of his wives was anointed to him at that time because his first wife was not present. You are hereby authorized to administer that ordinance in behalf of Brother Wood’s first wife, and afterwards Sister Smith can also be anointed to Brother Wood. It will be necessary for some persons who have received this ordinance to officiate for Brother and Sister Wood, deceased, and Sister Smith can act for herself. You can arrange about that.

In regard to establishing a rule in such cases as this one, as you intimate in your letter, I do not desire it be so; but prefer that all matters pertaining to this ordinance shall first be referred to me, as also all cases where a liv[p.860]ing man has had his blessings and brings his wife or wives to receive theirs: he and they should first have permission before the ordinance is performed.

With kind regards,

Your Brother in the Gospel,

W. Woodruff

190. Journal of L. John Nuttall, Vol. 2:360; February 19, 1889; BYU Spec Coll.

Pres. Woodruff at my request signed a recommend for Peter W. Conover of Provo & his wives to receive their 2nd Anointings. I wrote a letter to Bro. Conover enclosing his recommend.

162. Deseret News, Vol. 39:17, July 1889; Priesthood meeting, May 19, 1889; Sanpete Stake Conference, Manti; Pres. George Q. Cannon.

Jesus has given us to understand that it is impossible for his disciples to be perfect; for he says: “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” He did not mean by that that we should attain to the fulness of the godhead in this life, but that we should carry out in our lives and exemplify in our conduct those laws and principles which God has revealed, and which are the principles of perfection and godliness.

191. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, pp. 424-425, CR/1/20/#17.

March 16th, 1889

President Ira N. Hinckley,


Dear Brother:–The enclosed recommend for Christian P. Boreguard and his wife Anna to obtain their second anointings, is returned herewith for corrections.

In regard to these matters, I will say that it is not expected that the Bishops will take these cases in hand and recommend persons for this ordinance.

The instructions which have been given on this subject are, that the President of the Stake, as they shall find from time to time in their Stake those brothren who are aged, and who have been faithful in the Church during their lives, and through their untiring energies have proven themselves worthy of this blessing, will take note of such cases and, through the President, will submit to me the names of such persons and their wives, both living and dead, who have also been faithful and are worthy for consideration. In forwarding to me the names of such persons, I must have the age, in years, of each one named. It is not expected that any person will be informed of what action is being taken until [p.425] after their names are approved and their recommends properly endorsed by me. Faithful and worthy aged brothren who have died without this blessing, should be remembered with their wives in this connection.

After names of worthy aged persons have been submitted by the President of the Stakes and been approved by me. the usual recommend can then be forwarded, with a slip of paper calling my attention to the fact.

Trusting this will be satisfactory to you, and with kind regards,

I am your Brother

W. Woodruff

192. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, pp. 430-431, CR/1/20/#17.

March 19th 1889

President John D.T. McAllister,

St. George Temple.

Dear Brother:–Your letter of Feb. 27th, asking certain questions pertaining to Temple ordinances, has been received and considered.

In regard to your last question, pertaining to a woman having been sealed and anointed [second anointing] to her husband, but subsequently divorced from him, he continuing a faithful, good man, etc, is she to be anointed to a second good man as though she never had been anointed? I answer, No. In such a case it will not be proper for the sister to be again anointed.

Your second question as to my having any word for you in relation to adoption—

I would say it will be well to leave the matter of adoption for the present as they have been, and not make any changes. This will also answer your question in regard to going back as far as records can be obtained correctly in adoptions. [p.2]

In relation to children who are old enough to be baptized [&] who are dead, receiving their endowments. I will say that in performing ordinances for the dead it is safe to follow the rules observed in regard to the living, unless there may be special occasions which can be attended to when the circumstances require.

With kind regards,

I am you Brother,

W. Woodruff

193. Letter from Phineas W. Cook, to Pres. Wilford Woodruff, 11 June 1889, Wilford Woodruff Incoming Corr. Uncatologed CHO.

Garden City Rich Co Utah

11th of June 1889

President Woodruff

Salt Lake City,  Dear Brother,

I with my youngest wife, have received our 2d anointing, but the 2 older ones have not yet been able to get to the temple, to attend to theirs but intend to as soon as circumstances will permit. I was informed there was another ordinance which might be given at some future time in an upper room. Can we not pass through them all for that is my blessing given by the Patriarch. So I feel to ask for all, although the day may be breaking, I cannot let thee go, except thou bless me. So said our father Jacob. I have one wife who died in the faith. She was a good saint, she had her endowment in the Endowment house in Salt Lake, and was sealed to me by permission of President Taylor. Can she receive the 2d anointing by Proxey. Should not those wives that have been sealed to me who died out of the church, be adopted to their parents who will have done the work for [her] in the temple. And should not those parents, who adopted to us who have done this work for them, as we have been adopted. I suppose none of these recieve a 2d anointing who have not recieved the gospel in the flesh. Please excuse me, for so much inquisitiveness for I know not where else to apply for this information. The spirit prompts me to ask is there not another ordinance yet concerning a rod, if so can I receive it. I do not know that there is, but I feel to ask for all that is for me. Your brother

  (over) Phineas W. Cook

Jesus said seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you, I feel that a blessing that is not worth asking for is not worth having, and if I ask and am refused I hope it will not injure me. P.W.C.

[In pencil & different handwriting]:

He has got all the ordinances he has a right to.

194. Letter from Wilford Woodruff to Phineas W. Cook, June 18, 1889, CR/1/20/#17/p. 766.

June 18th, 1889

Elder Phineas W. Cook,

Garden City, Rich Co.

Dear Brother:–I have received your letter of the llth inst., in which you speak of another ordinance in addition to the second anointing, which might be given at some future time in an upper room.

You have received all the ordinances which we administer. The ordinance to which you refer is one between yourself and your family, and which doubtless was explained to you when you received your second anointing.

Your wife who is dead, and who, you say, was a faithful woman, can receive her second anointing. One of your other wives can act for her. Those who died out of the Church, and who have been sealed to you since, need not at the present time receive this ordinance. We do not administer it to those who are in this condition.

As to the ordinance connected with the rod, we know nothing of that. You will have to wait for awhile or until we meet Aaron.

Of course, your present living wives, if they are worthy and can obtain recommendations from the Bishop, can receive the ordinance of second anointing, whenever it will be convenient to you and to them.

With kind regards,

I am your brother,

W. Woodruff

195. Journal of Abraham H. Cannon, Vol. 9:121; October 7, 1889; BYU Spec Coll.

Pres. Woodruff spoke in regard to second anointings and said the Presidents of Stakes were to be judges of who were worthy to receive them, but it was an ordinance of the eternal world which belonged particularly to old men.

196. Journal of L. John Nuttall; Mor/M270.1/N963/Vol. 3:100 (p. 158 of original journal); BYU Spec Collections; November 19, 1889.

Tuesday, Nov 19, 1889. The Presidency at the office. Prest Woodruff signed 7 recommends. It rained some during the night. Recommends were signed by Pres’ Woodruff for Bro Daniel Graves & wives of Provo for their 2nd anointings. His wives names are Elizabeth Sarah Baker, Mary Newman, and Selina World.

197. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, p. 583, CR/1/20/#18.

Jan. 21, 1890

President D. H. Wells,

Manti Temple

Dear Brother:–Your favor of 16th inst. suggesting that Elder John Hollister and his wife Lovina, both deceased, be granted the privilege of Second Anointings is received and the request granted.

Brother Reynolds says, that if he informed Sister Cox she had not received her Second Anointing he was in error as according to the record Cordelia C. Morley born at Kirtland 28th Nov. 1823 was anointed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Temple at Nauvoo 27th Jan. 1846; Elder Parley P. Pratt officiating.

Your Brother

W. Woodruff

198. Diaries of Joseph Fish, p. 200; Mor/M270.1/F527/BYU Spec Coll; April 8, 1890.

Apr. 8. Tuesday. We went up to the Temple, which is a magnificent building standing on the bench above the city. We did some work in the temple. I had my father adopted to the prophet Joseph Smith. I would have been sealed to my father, but as my sisters who were in the church were not present, it was thought best to postpone this work. I received my second anointing also my wife Eliza did. She also acted for my wife Mary Campbell in having her second anointing.

199. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, p. 112, CR/1/20/#19.

April 23, 1890

President D.H. Wells,

Manti Temple.

Dear Brother:

The following brethren and sisters have been recommended by President Canute Petersen, and approved by me, to receive their second anointings, when they present themselves at the Temple, with their recommends you are authorized to perform that cerimony in their behalf:

David Candland, Chester, age 71.

Annie Candland 52

Hannah 50

Mary Ann 44 [deceased]

Mary Jane ” 22

Carline Margaret Olsen, Mayfield, [deceased] age, 66 Jonathan Midgley, Wales, age 68

Ann K. 66

Peter M. Olsen, Spring City, age 64

Karen Marie Olsen,        66

Jonas Ottenstrom, Ephraim, [deceased] age 64.

Marie Kaisq                65.

Sildq Amela                56.

Peter nela         [deceased] 50.

Slen Marie                67.

Your Brother in the Gospel,

W. Woodruff

200. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, Vol 23:423. September 1890 to August 1891. Church Archives CR/1/20/#20.

Mar 13 1891

Prest D. D. McArthur.

St George.

Dear Brother:

In reply to yours of the 9th inst. I am directed to say that the late Elder Newton Daniel Hall and his two wives are approved for further blessings. This does not include his wife Sarah who married Peter Markin.

In all these cases I am requested to remind you that President Woodruff wishes to know the ages of all who are thus recommended. Upon receipt of the propet recommends for Bro Hall & wives the Prest will endorse it.

Respectfully your Brother

/s/ L. John Nuttall

201. Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. III, p. 228 Circular Letter of the First Presidency November 6, 1891.

Dear Brethren’

It has been decided that it is no longer necessary for those going to the Temples to attend to ordinances therein to send their recommends to President Woodruff to be by him endorsed. The signatures of the Bishop and Stake President will be all that is required.

This decision applies to all ordinances attended to in the House of the Lord, except Second Anointings, which last named will still require the approval of the President of the Church before they can be administered. This being the decision, Bishops of Wards and Presidents of Stakes will see the increased necessity for care, so that no unworthy person will be recommended for ordinances in the Temples.

Your Brethren,

Wilford Woodruff,

George Q. Cannon,

Joseph F. Smith

The First Presidency of the Church

of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

202. Diary of George Halliday, pp. 145-146; 1823-1900; Mor/M270.1/H156/BYU Spec Coll; March 22, 1892.

March 22, 1892. I went with my wives, Sarah and Prudence to Manti Temple and received our Second Annointings under the hands of President A. H. Lund.

203. Journal of L. John Nuttall; April 19, 1892.

Had a talk with Pres. W. Woodruff about sister Baratts Temple Work. Asked him for her to receive her 2nd annointing. He asked me who to; I told him Pres. John Taylor. He asked me who would represent Prest. Taylor, I told him that I intended to do so. He said that was all right and signed recommends.

204. Journal of L. John Nuttall; April 22, 1892.

Sister M. M. Barratt born January 17, 1834, at Stockport Cheshme England, was sealed to Pres. John Taylor, I being proxy. She was afterwards annointed to him.

205. The House of the Lord, p. 163; 1968 ed.; by James E. Talmage; April 6, 1893.

[After describing the Holy of Holies room in the Salt Lake Temple, Elder Talmage makes this comment:]

This room [the holy of holies] is reserved for the higher ordinances in the Priesthood relating to the exaltation of both living and dead.

206. Journal of Abraham H. Cannon, Vol 17:22-23; BYU Special Collections; Wednesday, June 7, 1893; Ordained an apostle in 1889.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7th, 1893 . . . At 6 o’clock I went to the [Salt Lake] Temple where I met my folks, we having received permission from Pres. Woodruff to receive our second anointings. Father [George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency] was there to perform the ceremony. Bro. [Francis M.] Lyman was also there to be with his wife Susan D. Callister Lyman as she received this blessing. Father anointed and spoke the words, John D. T. McAllister held the horn [containing the consecrated oil], and Lorenzo Snow and John R. Winder were the witnesses. Sister Lyman was the first anointed in the presence of us all, she thus being the first to receive this blessing in this building. I then received mine, and my wives followed in the order of their marriages. I felt very much pleased to be thus favored. The ordinance of the washing of feet was explained by Bro. McAllister, after the anointings had been given.

207. Special meeting of the workers of the St. George Temple, held in the Annex; June 23, 1893. Remarks by President Wilford Woodruff. Located among the material on Declarations of the First Presidency on Temple Work.

It has been the rule in Logan Temple not to allow any person who had not been married under the covenant to officiate at the marriage alter in behalf of the dead. This rule, he [W. Woodruff] said was wrong and must not be acted upon in the future. The reception of the endowment enabled a person to act in behalf of the dead in any of the ordinances in the house of the Lord, except the highest [second anointing].

208. Journal of Abraham H. Cannon, Vol. 17:94; June 1893.

The Presidents of Stakes are authorized to recommend aged and faithful persons to receive their second anointings, but no others have this authority to issue recommends for this purpose.

209. Manti Temple Historical Record. Church Historical Department, CR/21/#6.

Salt Lake City Utah

26 Aug 1893

Prest. J. D. T. McAllister,

Manti Temple,

Dear Brother:-

We have made the following ruling which is Self-explanatory, and send it to you for your guidance as President of the Manti Temple.

“Persons having received their endowments, who are otherwise qualified. may act for the dead in the ordinances, of sealing and adoption, without having been Sealed or adopted themselves. But in Second Anointings, none shall be eligible to act for the dead. unless they have received this blessing themselves.”

Your Brethren,

Wilford Woodruff

Geo. Q. Cannon

Jos. F. Smith.

210. Journal of Wilford Woodruff; March 19, 1894; CHO/Ms/f/ 115/1865-1898 Box/ Vol. 13, 1893-1897/p. 68.

Sunday Even not very well & spent the day at home. I had a Dream in the night—l met with Benjamin Franklin. I thought he was on the Earth. I spent several hours with him And talked over our Endowments. He wanted some more work done for Him than had been done which I promised him He should have. I thought then he died and while waiting for burial I awoke. I thought very strange of my dream. I made up my mind to get 2d Anointing for Benjamin Franklin & George Washington.

211. Young Women’s Journal, Vol. V No. 11, pp. 511-514; August 1894; Susa Young Gates, rep. “The Temple Worker’s Excursion. Remarks made by President Wilford Woodruff in the evening Temple workers Testimony Meeting, June 24, 1894.

Now, the question I wanted to ask you is this: We have fourteen hundred million people on this earth, and over them there hangs a cloud of darkness almost entirely upon their shoulders. Can you tell me where the people are who will be shielded and protected from these great calamities and judgments which are even now at our doors? I’11 tell you. The priesthood of God who honor their priesthood, and who are worthy of their [second] blessings are the only ones who shall have this safety and protection. They are the only mortal beings. No other people have a right to be shielded from these judgments. * * *

Three of the sisters, Sister Zina D. Young, who is the President of the sisters in the Temple, with Sister Bathsheba W. Smith, and Minnie J. Snow, her two counselors, spoke briefly of their joy in the work. Aunt Bathsheba mentioned the fact that she had received her blessings in Nauvoo under the hands of the Prophet Joseph Smith, she being now the only living woman who has so received these blessings. * * *

There’s Sister Bathsheba Smith, she and I both had our endowments under the hands of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I had my second anointings and sealings under his hands. There is not a single principle in this Church that he did not lay the foundation for. * * *

212. Journal of Abraham H. Cannon, Vol. 19:103; June 20, 1895.

In the Salt Lake Temple A sister who died before receiving her second anointings is allowed to receive them by proxy.

213. Manti Temple, Historical Record, CR/348/21/V.2/p. 100.

Salt Lake City, Mar. 6. 1897.

Bro. Mc.Allister:

Pres. Woodruff declines to give Seconds to any members of the Church excepting those who have gathered to Zion; he says he must draw the line some where, and this is where he draws it. He says too that all faithful saints who have died without having the privilege of gathering with the body of the Church will receive all the blessings they are entitled to hereafter.

Yours &c.,

Geo. P. Gibbs Secy.

214. Journal of Wilford Woodruff, April 17, 1897.

At 2 pm Pres Lorenzo Snow & Bro Salmon called and stayed for 1 1/2 hours & we conversed together. He gave me a list of Salt Lake Temple work since the commencement, May 22, 1893 to March 31, 1897 showing . . . * * * 2d anointing 1017 living, 17936 dead.

215. George A. Smith Family Papers, Univ of Utah Lib, Ms 36, Box 146, Folder 10. Verbatim line by line transcript of a holographic document. April 12, 1898.

April 12 1898 / Ovando C. Beebe & Clara Beebe / My Dear Children / Enclosed find a Recommend to / president Snow for your Second / Annointing I am very thankful that / I have lived to be able to grant / you and Asahel & Owen this / glorious privilege You Stand in / Need of it You are worthy of it and / it is the Highest Ordinance to be / bestowed upon any one in the Church / You will have to be Dressed in your / Temple Clothes I think Clara / had better Converse with her Mother / about the Day to go. / God Bless you & your Children / Your Affectionate Father / Wilford Woodruff // I think it would be a good plan for you / And Asahel to go together for you Both / WW

– – – –

Keep this sent to Me & President Snow

President Lorenzo Snow / This is to Certify that I hereby / Recommend My Son in Law (Ovando C. Beebe) And / His Wife My Daughter / Clara Beebe Worthy of their / Second Anointing They have both / of them been true & faithful in / All of their Administrations in the / Church & Kingdom of God on the Earth / Wilford Woodruff

216. Conference Report, pp. 64-65; April General Conference, April 9, 1899; President George Q. Cannon.

Why did the Lord ask such things of Abraham? Because, knowing what his future would be and that he would be the father of an innumerable posterity, for he was determined to test him. * * * He [God] tries us for our own good that we may know ourselves; for it is most important that a man should know himself.

He required Abraham to submit to this trial because He intended to make him a king and a priest, to share with Himself the glory, power and dominion which He exercised.

217. Private Journal of Henry Ballard, p. 105 of typescript copy/ BYU Special Collections; Mor/M270.1/B213 (p. 95 of original diary); May 24, 1899. This is the account of Henry Ballard, father of Melvin J. Ballard, receiving his second anointings.

1899: May 24, Was a good deal better. I went to the Temple with my son, Ernest, who was going upon a mission. Also my wives with me. We received our Second Anointings by Apostle Merrianor (sic) W. Merrill. I was called upon to speak to the Saints that were going through. I felt well. (p. 96)

218. The L.D.S. Millennial Star, No 35, Vol. LXI, p. 546. The first part of this discourse was printed August 24, 1899. This quote comes from the continuation of the talk and is dated Thursday, August 31, 1899. Edited, printed and published in Liverpool, England. Discourse delivered by President Lorenzo Snow at St. George, Utah, on Thursday, May 8, 1899.

Teach them [the children] to pay their tithing while they are young. You mothers, teach your children that when they get any money they should pay one tenth of it to the Lord, however little it may be. Educate them to pay their tithing in full. Then we will have a people prepared to go to Jackson County. President Smith was talking yesterday about the land of Zion. Yes, surely, this entire continent is the land of Zion, and the time will come when there will be Temples established over every portion of the land, and we will go into these Temples and work for our kindred dead night and day, that the work of the Lord may be speedily accomplished, that Jesus may come and present the kingdom to His Father. He is coming soon, too. But we will not hear His voice until we build up Jackson County. Now we should make the preparation for this. We are not only going to have Zion throughout this continent, but we will have it over the whole earth. The whole earth is the Lord’s The time will come when it will be translated and be filled with the spirit and power of God. The atmosphere around it will be the spirit of the Almighty. We will breathe that Spirit instead of the atmosphere that we now breathe. But now it is for us to make the preparation, that we may be worthy to be called into the house of the Lord and receive our second blessings. I do not want the presidents of Stakes to send any person to our Temples to receive the highest blessings that have ever been bestowed upon man since the world began, until it can be said of him, “He pays his full tithing.” When you find an honest faithful Latter-day Saint who is worthy of receiving His blessings, send him along. I do not care how fast they come. The time is now at hand when the Latter-day Saints can be greatly and abundantly blessed, so that they can make the preparation in its fulness.

219. W. Dean Belnap “Notebooks”; November 25, 1899.

Thanksgiving Day 1899 President Snow called Joseph Musser and his wife to the temple to receive “my second blessings.” (Four other couples were present, none of them having plural wives.) There was a “Patriarchal Blessing” given in connection with second anointings.

220. Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. III, Circular Letter of the First Presidency, April 14, 1900.

Salt Lake City, Utah, April l4th, 1900

Prest. David H. Cannon, St. George.

Dear Brother,

During the lifetime of the late President Wilford Woodruff a rule was established by him not to permit a woman to be anointed to a man unless she had lived with him as a wife. This was a restriction of the rule in such cases which obtained during the lifetime of Presidents Brigham Young and John Taylor. After considering the matter we have concluded to restore the practice as expressed in the following, and which will govern in such cases in the future:

Any woman, who has been sealed to a man in life or by proxy. whether she has lived with him or not, shall have the privilege of being anointed to him inasmuch as he shall have had his second blessings.

Lorenzo Snow

George Q. Cannon

Joseph F. Smith

221. Autobiography of Charles Hopkins Allen; September 1900.

In the year 1900 my wife and I were called to go to Utah to receive our second anointing in the temple of the Lord, so we started by rail in company with Bro. Hyrum S. Phelps & part of his family, on the 17th day of August. On arriving there, we went to work in the Logan temple where we worked for about three weeks & did a good deal of work for my wife’s folks who were dead. We also did work for some of my folks & the sealing for my grandparents for five generations back. We also rec’d our second anointing & returned home in Sept. 1900, feeling thankful that we had been counted worthy to receive such great blessings in the house of the Lord.

[Charles Hopkins Allen was born in New York on October 15, 1830. He lived shortly in Kirtland, Ohio, and then moved to Nauvoo with the saints. He personally knew the Prophet Joseph, Brigham Young, Eliza R. Snow and other church leaders. His parents received their “blessings” in the Nauvoo temple during the winter of 1845-46 before moving west with the saints. In 1912 he was ordained a patriarch by Elder James E. Talmage and passed away in 1922, in Mesa, Arizona, a faithful member of the church.]

222. John M. Whitaker Journals; BYU Special Coll, Mor/M270.1/W58/V.2/p.512; Originals at Univ of Utah; September 19, 1900.

Thursday the 19th of September 1900 was the OUTSTANDING DAY OF OUR LIFE, President Frank Y. Taylor was authorized by the First Presidency of the Church to invite Ida and I TO RECEIVE OUR SECOND ANNOINTINGS, AND IN THE TEMPLE, ON THIS MOMENTOUS DAY, President John R. Winder, President of the Temple, explained fully what the 2nd annointings were and told us of the glorious promises offered to those who keep the commandments of the Lord and live a worthy and holy life: that these were the highest of all earthly blessings and no one receives them but those selected by the President of the Church. No one else has that right. How wonderful they were, what hopes they inspire, what a strength they give, what anticipations they awaken in our hearts and how wonderful it is to feel a nearness to the Lord by righteous living. We were thrilled in expectancy and joyous in hopes of living worthy to secure all that was promised us. We have started on an everlasting journey and all depends on whether we endure until the end.

223. Letter to Elder Adelbert Henderson & Wife from George C. Parkinson, Solomon H. Hales & Joseph S. Giddes; September 25th 1900.

Elder Adelbert Henderson and wife,

Clifton, Idaho

Dear Brother,

In harmony with the wishes of President Snow, to the effect of the leading brethren and sisters of the several Wards and Stakes of Zion, should be granted the privilege of receiving their second blessings in the House of the Lord, and in view of your continued faithfulness and untiring activity in the great cause our Father has established, for the exaltation of his children,– it affords us true pleasure to enclose you herewith your Temple recommend, duly signed, with the invitation to proceed to the Temple at your earliest convenience and receive this great blessing your second annointing.

May the Lord bless and preserve you in the purity of these high covenants, we are with warmest regards.

Your Brethren,

George C. Parkinson

Solomon H. Hales

Joseph S. Giddes

224. Lorenzo Snow Letterbook, p. 942, Ms/f/105/2, 

Dec. 22, 1900

Elder D. H. Cannon

Prest. St. George Temple

Dear Brother:

With respect to Zadok K. Judd’s letter (herewith enclosed) asking for second blessings for his father and grandfather, Prest. Snow says that many faithful people have gone into the spirit world without those blessings, and they will lose nothing by it; and all such cases he prefers to refer to the future than to undertake to endorse recommends for persons who cannot be regularly recommended.

Yours etc.

Geo. F. Gibbs

225. S. H. Brimhall Diary, p. 125; Thursday, January 3, 1901; BYU Spec Coll, Mor/M270.1/B77b.

Thurs. 3. Went to the Temple of the Lord with Flora and received our Second annointings. Prest. John R. Winder officiating. The greatest day of my life.

226. Journal of Thomas A. Clawson, 1895-1904 Book, pp. 226, 228; April 8, 1901.

After the opening exercises Prest Lorenzo Snow spoke upon the Subject of the giving of Second Anointings. He said that this blessing brought a person to a greater knowledge of the things pertaining to God and his purposes in the earth, that the glorious things of the kingdom were made clear to the understanding of man. Therefore it would be a very serious thing for a man to apostatize after he had received this great blessing. He warned the Presidents of Stakes that they should exercise great care when giving recommends to those of his stake to receive these great blessings and should know by their work their integrity and devotion to the cause of the Gospel, for the responsibility would rest upon them if any were recommended unworthily or that apostatized.  * * *

Prest. Jos. F. Smith then made a few remarks on the Subject of the Second Anointing. He said that it was the crowning blessing of and the highest gift to be conferred by the Melchizedek Priesthood. Elders should do something to be worthy to receive this great blessing and there are many ways out of the ordinary routine duties by which a man could earn the good will of God to the obtaining of this blessing. Every man should be determined to place every thing on the altar even to the laying down of life itself for the gospel sake in order to be truly worthy of this blessing.

227. Journal of Anthony W. Ivins, Apostle; Monday, April 8, 1901.

Meeting of Presidency, Apostles & Church Officers. Prest. Snow said that persons who are recommended for second anointings should be those who have made an exceptional record, that they are persons who will never apostatize. Prest. of Stakes assume a great responsibility when they recommend persons for second anointings. Now I wish to say a word in regard to going back to Jackson County. The time is nearer than many of us suppose. I want to impress upon the minds of all that they cannot go back to Jackson County unless they obey the law of tithing. Jos. Smith had a book in which all of the names of tithe payers was recorded which was called the Book of the Law of the Lord. This Church as a Church will never go back to Jackson Co. till the people learn to observe the law of the Lord. I fear that some of the bishops do not fully believe in the law of tithing Excellent remarks.

Bro. Jos. F. Smith said No man receives a fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood till he has received his second anointings. Men recommended for this sacred ordinance should be men of God whose faith and integrity are unquestioned.

228. William Henry Smart Journal, 1862-1937; Photocopy of holograph. Univ of Utah Special Collections, Marriott Library; CHO/Ms/d/85/Bx 2/fd 1.

30 May 1901 [Thursday]: . . . This afternoon my wife and I took train for Salt Lake City to get our second anointings and attend 100th anniversary of Brigham Young’s birth.

31 May 1901 [Friday]: Went to Temple this morning presenting recommend which Pres. Snow gave me about 3 months ago. We had not come before for our second anointing as the baby was young, and because we desired to become settled in our new home.

I was called to speak during the services of the temple. Dwelt principally upon the necessity of keeping awake during temple services and keeping awake in our duties. I consider this a very great honor to be called to speak in the House of the Lord. Bp John R Winder annointed us and Elder Madsen instructed us. These are the greatest blessings that are bestowed upon man in the flesh. We were both melted in tears and I felt the patriarchal spirit of pure affection more than I have done before. The witnesses to the annointing were John R. Winder annointed. Adolph Madsen assisted John Nicholson Recorder.

21 June 1901 [Friday; at their home; he was the Wasatch Stake President in Heber Utah at this time]: This evening from about 9-30 to 12 O.C. my wife and I attended to the second part of the ordinance of second anointings. We besides the ordinance itself sang “We thank thee O God for a prophet,” conversed concerning our duties to each other and children, read from John XII: 1-8 verses, read the Rev. on the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, Section 132. We dedicated [the] room for the purpose of this meeting. Closed by singing: “Oh my father thou that dwellest.” Anna was mouth in preliminary prayer, I gave the dedicatory prayer and the benediction. The spirit of the Lord was with us and we felt nearer together than usual: were much encouraged in pressing onward in an endeavor to succeed in life. We fasted during the day and broke our fast together a little after 12 O.C.

229. St. George Temple Minute Book, k9368r, p. 169; September 18, 1901.

President Cannon.

Pres. Brigham Young left St. George on 16 April 1877 for Salt Lake City and on the 17 April Prest. Young blessed me and set me apart to do sealings, adoptions, 2nd Anointings and all work in this holy Temple. This was done in Bellvieu (sic) at the house of Brother Jacob Gates. I rejoice in this work and hope the time is not far distant when the temple will be filled with saints laboring for their dead. Be attentive and calm; see and hear what is done and said. Keep a record of what you do.

230. Journal of John R. Winder; December 25, 1901.

Christmas day 1901 at home.

I thought of the desire I expressed to Brother [F.M.] Lyman that his son Richard and wife should receive a certain ordinance in the Temple, which they have since received, and I don’t know of any two people who more greatly appreciated it.   /s/ John R. Winder

231. Joseph F. Smith’s Letter Book, 1902.

Second Blessings same as second anointings—Joseph B. Keeler.

Stake President can recommend someone who is dead and do it by proxy. Stake Presidents personally recommend them and personally responsible.

Worthiness, fitness, unshaken integrity, didn’t matter whether in presiding position or not, those who have gathered to Zion, those who do have presiding positions ought to have them.

232. Letter from First Presidency, 4 January 1902.

4 January 1902

President Moses W. Taylor


Dear Brother:–

This is in answer to your note on the back of a letter written by Elder William Asber to Bishop Joseph Hopkin, of Echoe, in which Brother Asber requests the bishop to take steps to procure for him a recommend in favor of Elias Asber and wife, his deceased brother and sister-in-law.

In the first place we would say that recommends for second blessings are not Bishop’s recommends and their names therefore should not appear on them at all. The President of Stakes alone are held responsible for people recommended for second annointings, and where they are not personally acquainted with the parties to be recommended, it would be in order for them of course to satisfy themselves through other reliable sources. In the next place we would say that it is not expected that people shall be found asking that this most sacred ordinance shall be administered to them, but you should take pains to seek out the worthy people under your Jurisdiction, and this by means of your counselors and Bishops. In this particular case however you will be perfectly safe in issuing the recommends sought for, as we personally know the parties to be worthy.

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

234. Letter from First Presidency, January 5, 1902.

5 January 1902

President Thomas E. Bassett


Dear Brother:–

This is in answer to yours of the 3rd inst.

It is not in order for people to ask for recommends for second blessings. They should be chosen through the Stake Presidency because of their faithfulness, fitness and worthiness to receive this higher ordinance of the house of the Lord. It is understood of course that you have received second anointings yourself, otherwise you had better refrain from recommending for the present. We may say however that second blessings are not administered to single individuals of either sex, but to men and their wives.

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

235. Letter from the First Presidency, 4 February 1902.

4 Feb. 1902

President Thos. E. Bassett,


*** Further “as far as possible the person recommended ought to be personally known you (sic) and persons recommended should be instructed to regard their business to the temple as strictly private. It is taken for grandid that you will confer with your counselors about such matters, also in cases where the parties are not sufficiently known to you to justify your recommending them, it is understood that you will be free to talk with their bishops or anyone else in whom he may have confidence about them for the purpose of satisfying yourself as to their worthiness to receive these higher blessings, but it should not be known why you make your inquiry about them. It was never intended that bishops should recommend for second blessings: neither that people should ask for recommends to obtain them. On the contrary, they should be sought out, and the strictest privacy should be observed in everything pertaining to this matter.”

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

236. Letter to President Joseph F. Smith From the Utah Stake Presidency, March 15, 1902.

David John, President

Jos. B. Keeler,

L. Holbrook,




  Provo, Utah, March 15, 1902

President Joseph F. Smith

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brother:

We are often requested to grant the privilege, or rather to give recommends, to persons to get second annointings for worthy persons who are dead. Up to the month of December, 1900, there was no question, so far as we know, in our Stake about granting this privilege for the worthy dead.

On December 1, 1900, however, the Presidency of this Stake received a letter from President Snow, in which he made the following remarks:

“I would also suggest that for the present you will confine your names to men who are living, and their wives, living and dead, who are worthy,–to assist them to be more faithful and energetic in the future, and not so much for the dead. The time will come when the dead will be properly cared for.”

Since the receipt of the above mentioned letter, the Presidency of this Stake have followed President Snow’s instructions. But yesterday we received a very pressing request from the family of Brother Franklin Merry Whitmore, of Springville Third Ward, who died Feb. 15, 1902. He leaves one wife living; one died before him. The family has requested that he be permitted to receive his second annointings. Shall we give recommends for this purpose or not?

Respectfully your brethren,

/s/ David John      

/s/ Joseph B. Keeler   

[Handwritten note:] “If in their judgement he is worthy it will be O.K. to do so.”

237. Manti Temple, Historical Record. Church Historical Department. CR/348/21/v.2/p.106.

Office of the First Presidency of the

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Salt Lake City Utah June 11, 1902

President John D. T. Mc.Allister,

Manti Temple.

Dear Brother:–

In answer to yours of the 29th ult, we would say that under the following ruling by the Council of First Presidency and Apostles you would be authorized to administer Second Anointings in behalf of deceased women, after receiving the usual Sepcial temple recommends in their favor signed by the Stake President and endorsed by the President of the Church.


No person, Males or female, living or dead, can receive [the] highest blessings in the House of the Lord without special recommend for this purpose signed by the President of the Stake and endorsed by the President of the Church. The recommend, for dead as well as living, should be based on competent evidence of faithfulness and, in cases of those who are not members of the Church at their death, on evidence of their chaste and moral conduct in life.

Any woman who has been sealed, in life or by proxy, to a worthy man, whether she has lived with him or not, may have the privilege of being anointed to him, provided he has had his Second Anointings.

Your Brethren,

Jos. F. Smith,

John R. Winder,

Anthon H. Lund.

First Presidency.

P.S. Bishop Madsen’s letter herewith Returned.

238. Letter from First Presidency, 1 August 1902.

1 August 1902

President C. R. Hakes.


Dear Brother:–

This is in answer to your of the 23rd inst.

Brethren recommended to the temple for second anointings should be men of experience whose integrity to the work of the Lord is beyond question, and who are known for their continued faithfulness, as it would be very unfortunate thing indeed for a man to receive the higher blessings and aftewards apostatize. The question of age would naturally be a consideration in recommending for the higher ordinances, but it is not to be understood for a moment that you should wait until brethren become old before recommending them to receive these blessings. The chief qualifications are worthiness, fitness and unshaken integrity, and these should be combined in man thus recommended whether they occupy presiding positions or not: but as a matter of course the brethren occupying presiding positions, such as those of the stake presidency, high counsilor (sic) president of the high priest’s quorum, patriarch and bishop are suppose to be in possession of these qualifications.

The usual form of recommend should be used containing the name of the brother recommended, also the name of his wife or those of his wives, dead or alive, as the case may be, to be anointed to him, and all such recommends should be sent this office for endorsement accompanied by a letter of explanation.

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthom H. Lund

First Presidency

239. Letter from First Counselor in Stake Presidency to President Joseph F. Smith, September 5, 1902. Letter was received in SLC on September 8th 1902.

Office of Stake Clerk and Logan Tithing Clerk

Logan, Utah Sept 5th, 1902

President Joseph F. Smith

Salt Lake City

Dear Brother:–, In the absence of President Joseph Morrell, I take the liberty of endorsing the following named Brethren and Sisters for their Second Anointing, they being recommended for that blessing by their Bishop, Washington B Rogers, born 1824, Baptized 1838,

Maryan O. Rogers (Dead)

Sina Josephene Rogers aged 48 years.


Carl Gustaf Lindblad Born (1836 Baptized 1871)

Mariea Margretta Lindblad Born 1832 Baptized 1871

Your Brother in the Gospel

/s/ Isaac Smith

1st Coun. in Cache Stake

[Joseph F. Smith replied to this letter by sending it back with a handwritten note:] “The Bp’s are not expected to recommend members for their 2d blessings. This matter devolves upon the Stake Presidency.” J.F.S.

240. Manti Temple Historical Record. Church Historical Department. CR/348/21/v.2/p.112.

Salt Lake City. August 25th 1903.

President J.D.T. Mc.Allister,

Manti Temple

Dear Brother:–

Complaints have reached us from Presidents of Stakes that persons doing temple work have been advised by temple workers to speak to the President of their Stake about obtaining their Second Anointing. This must not be done, or suggested by any one laboring in our temples. None but Stake Presidents have the right to suggest and recommend persons to obtain their Second Annointings. The reason is plain: those working in the temples see people in their Sunday clothing only, and are not acquainted with their every day life. When such persons come to their Stake Presidents and ask for this blessing, saying they were counselled to do so in the temple, it places him in the unpleasant position, perhaps, that he has to refuse their request, and he is blamed by the applicants. No person has the right to ask for this blessing. He must wait till sought out by his Stake President. If the President of a temple feels impressed with the worthiness of any person, dead or alive, he can make suggestions to the President of the Stake, but he should not mention this to the persons themselves.

Please have these instructions repeated to all laboring in you[r] temple.

Your brethren

Jos. F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund.

241. Letter from First Presidency, 22 September 1903.

22 Sept. 1903

Prest. J. S. Paige Jr.


Dear Brother,–

In yours of the 21st inst. we desire to know if a regular recommend should be used for deceased people, when recommending to the temple.

Our answer is that in recommending for second blessings the same form of recommend should be used for the dead as for the living, but when people are recommended who are dead, the fact that they are dead should be so stated in the recommend. It is needless for us to say that you should recommend no deceased person to receive his second anointing without satisfying yourself of his worthiness to receive those great blessings.

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

242. Letter from First Presidency, 16 November 1903

16 Nov. 1903

Prest. Tahos. E. Bassett,


Dear Brother:–

We return here with recommend, endorsed for second blessings, in favor of Sister Dorthy Tompsen.

We note that you say that this sister is making a desperate effort due to some temple work this winter. The question has arisen in our minds, whether or not she now has, or has had a husband: and if a married woman, whether her husband has had his second anointing. If not, her husband, dead or alive, if worthy, should also be recommended, as she cannot have hers alone.

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

243. Letter from First Presidency, 4 November 1904

November 4, 1904

Prest. Thomas R. Bassett

Rexburg, Idaho

Dear Brother,

Referring to yours of the lst inst., recommending Sister Harriot B. Rowberry for second anointing, we would say that a woman cannot receive those blessings except in connection with her husband: and a man so indifferent to the ordinances of the House of the Lord as to neglect doing his own temple work in his lifetime, although, as you say, he might have done so had he been so inclined, can scarcely be considered worthy of second anointing and we do not see how you can consistently recommend him to receive those blessings.

For these reasons we have withheld your endorsement from the recommend sent by you in favor of Sister Rowberry.

Your brethren.

Jos. F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

244. Letter from Lewis Anderson, January 10, 1905.

Office of Presidency

South Sanpete Stake

Manti, Utah, January 10, 1905

Brother Lars M. C. Christensen

Manti, Utah….

Dear Brother: 

It affords us much pleasure to hand you herewith a recommend for yourself and wife to the Manti Temple to receive your Second Anointing.

We feel that your devotion and service to the Church merits this special favor, and we are sure that you will appreciate it. However, should there be any reason why you cannot avail yourself of this blessing, kindly return the recommend to me.

You may visit the Temple for this purpose at any time, but it would not be well to delay it very long.

You will, of course, understand that this should not be made a matter of conversation.

Your Brother in the Gospel,

/s/ Lewis Anderson

245. Letter from First Presidency, 16 June 1905.

June 16th, 1905

Prest. S. L. Chipman,

American Fork

Dear Brother:–

Second blessings are intended for those only who have born the heat and burden of the day, and endured faithful to the end: and, as a general thing, they are administered only to people who have gathered with the body of the Church. And in recommending such people it is expected that their worthiness is personally known to the Stake President who recommends them. The case referred to in yours of the 12th inst. cannot for a moment be considered as eligible for these higher blessings.

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

246. Letter from First Presidency, 9 December 1905.

December 9, 1905

Prest. Ira W. Hinckley


Dear Brother,–

The First Presidency desire me to inform you that second blessings are not administered to any accepting those who receive the gospel and are known for their worthiness. The women therefore referred to in your letter who have been sealed to Elder Beckstrand, but who did not receive the gospel in their lifetime, should not be recommended by you to receive these blessings.

And furthermore bishops are not competent to recommend for second blessings, and their names therefore should not be on such recommends. This privilege belongs solely to the Stake President in connection with his counselors. The Stake President however may confer with bishops in regard to this matter, but he must became responsible for the recommend through his own signiture.

Yours, &c., Geo. F. Gibbs, Secretary.

247. Letter from First Presidency, 21 November 1906.

November 21st, 1906

Prest. C. N. Lund and Counselors,

North Sanpete Stake.

Dear Brethren:–

We herewith submit answers to the questions contained in yours of the 14th inst.

Question, Where we grant a brother and sister the privilege of second blessings, and they desire the same blessings in behalf of their deceased parents who were true and faithful members of the Church while they lived, shall we grant their request?

Answer’ Yes, provided they can be properly recommended.

Question, Where the husband is dead and his widow living, is it alright for her to receive these blessings and have someone who has received them to stand for him, provided of course he was a worthy man?

Answer: Yes.

Question: A brother who was recommended for this purpose a year or two ago asked permission to receive this ordinance in behalf of his son, a worthy young man who had died. Would you approve of this request being granted?

Answer, Not at present.

Question: If the good record of a man is broken by his falling into transgression, say adultery or fornication, and he repents and makes restitution as far as he can do so, and has received forgiveness, can he afterwards, by living a faithful and good life, be entitled to receive these higher ordinances?

Answer: Every such case should stand on its own merits. In some instances it may be highly proper to recommend for second anointings, in others improper. For instance, a man who commits adultery after receiving his endowments should not be recommended to receive second blessings. Let the cases of all such men be considered and determined by the authority on the other side of the veil. But where a man commits adultery before joining the Church or even after baptism but before receiving his endowments his condition is different, and yourself and counselors must be the judges as to his worthiness to receive these blessings.

Question: We have not recommended anyone, only in exceptional cases, who have not reached the age of 50. Is that age limit alright?

Answer: If a man 50 years of age has been faithful he may be recommended for higher blessings.

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

248. Letter from First Presidency, 14 March 1907.

March 14th, 1907

Prest. Lewis Anderson


Dear Brother:

Please present our complements to Brother McAllister and say to him that it is not customary for woman to be anointed to men, to whom they may have been sealed after death, but with whom they had not lived in their lifetime as husband and wife in the marriage relation. Both of you will at once perceive the consistency and wisdom of this when you call to mind the fact that the second anointing consists of positive blessings bestowed only upon people who are known, and who can be recommended, for their long and steadfast faithfulness in the Church. And indeed, so particular have the Presidencies been at administering second anointings, that they drew the line between faithful members of the Church who died without gathering with the Church, and faithful members who gathered with the body of the Church and remained faithful afterwards, leaving the faithful people who have died in a scattered condition to be dealt with by the authority on the other side of the veil. But the main thought intended to be conveyed by us in this particular case is that the parties receiving the blessings must not only be known for their fidelity and faithfulness, but they must be, or have been, husband and wife as well, or one flesh, to use the scriptural expression.

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

249. Letter from First Presidency, 13 April 1907.

April 13, 1907

Prest. Oleen Stohl,

Brigham City,

Dear Brother,–

This is in answer to yours of the 11th inst.

Inasmuch as you can recommend Bro. Robert Henderson and wife, deceased, to receive their second blessings, it will be in order for you to do this. And in fact, this instruction applies to any other faithful members of the Church of your Stake whom you can recommend as worthy to receive these blessings but who passed away without them.

In the case of Bro. and Sister Henderson, Sisters Peters can officiate for Sister Henderson (her mother), and she and the family can agree among themselves as to who shall stand proxy for Bro. Henderson.

With kind regards, your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthan H. Lund

First Presidency

250. Letter from First Presidency, 14 January 1908.

January l4th, 1908

Prest. Alma Merrill,


Dear Brother,–

Please find enclosed recommends for second blessings endorsed by President Smith.

The First Presidency direct me to call your attention to the printed form used by you in this instance recommending for a second blessings, and would thank you to let them know if this particular form was prepared by yourself, or purchased by you of the printer already prepared? Their reason for illiciting this information is this, the form is unauthorized, and not in accordance with their mind in recommending for the second anointing. In other words the word “second” should not be in the recommend at all, and you are therefore requested to discard this particular form, and in fact to destroy it.

Instructions have been given so many times in regard to this matter, that it has been taken grandid that every Stake President is fully informed in relation to it. The way to do is to use the common form of temple recommend, and write a letter in connection with it explaining who the people are thus recommended, and given, as near as you can, their ages and a brief account of their lives so that the presidency may by this means gather some idea of their suitableness and worthiness to receive the endorsement of the President. And it is taken for grandid that you take pains to become personally acquainted with everybody recommended by you for second blessings, and you are of course at liberty to adopt every necessary means to acquire the information; and strict privacy should be enjoined by you and all so recommended by you.

Yours, &c.

Geo. F. Gibbs, Secretary

251. Letter from First Presidency, 22 May 1908.

May 22nd, 1908

President Oleen N. Stohl,

Brigham City

Dear Brother,–

This is an answer to yours of the 21st inst.

People who are not members of the Church during their lifetime are not eligible to receive second blessings. They should not only have been members of the Church, but their faithfulness and worthiness to receive these blessings should be unquestioned, and besides the line has been drawn in favor of those who have either gathered with the body of the Church or died on their way to the gathering place, all others are left to be dealt with by the authority on the other side of the veil. The recommends in favor of Mary Morgan and Mary Ann Love are therefore herewith returned unendorsed.

The case of the grandfather of Sister Owens of Willard City, with his wife who died before the Church was organized, comes within the rule, and it will be for you to therefore to satisfy yourself from the best evidence obtainable as to his worthiness and govern yourself accordingly. If he should be found worthy his wife, in this instance, would be an exception to the rule.

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

252. Letter from First Presidency, 22 May 1908.

May 22, 1908

Prest. William Budge

Logan Temple,

Dear Brother:–

We have just returned to President Stohl two temple recommends, given by him for second blessings in behalf of two women, one of whom was not a member of the Church, the other was but she died also in a foreign land without having gathered with the body of the Church. A brother, living in Box Elder Stake, who had recently been doing work in the Logan Temple in behalf of the women referred to, was told, while there that it was in order now for him to have those women anointed to him, and he therefore procured recommends from his Stake President to have this work done for them.

We have just informed President Stole that a rule of the temple forbids deceased women who were not members of the Church prior to their demise, or who did not gather with the body of the Church, being anointed to men, therefore, we could not endorse the recommends of the sisters referred to.

We write this for your information: also to say that it is not becoming in brethren to suggest that second blessings be given to anybody, living or dead, unless they are delegated by the President of the Church to act in this capacity, and it would be well therefore for you to so inform your Temple workers.

We are, with kind regards, your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

253. Letter of First Presidency, 16 February 1909

February 16th, 1909

President Isaac Smith


Dear Brother,–

The general rule adopted by the First Presidency in regard to the second anointing, is in effect that those blessings should be confined to the faithful members of the Church who have gathered with the body of the Church, or who died on the way in an effort to do so. Inasmuch therefore as you shall be able to satisfy yourself through the testimony of such men as Elders E. W. and Ralph Smith that their father, who died in Australia, where he is said to have gone for the purpose of making money to immigrate himself and family to Zion,–that he died in a state of worthiness. you may consider yourself at liberty to recommend him and his wife for second blessings.

Your brethren,

Joseph S. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency

254. L.D.S. Millennial Star, Vol. 71:105; February 18, 1909; Charles W. Penrose.

We cannot speak too emphatically on this subject to our brethren who are on missions, by way of caution against the infraction of their covenants, and in condemnation of those who do this for the purpose of impressing others with their self-importance when they boast of having received “the highest blessings,” conveying the idea that they are more advanced in those things than some of their fellow laborers. “The secrets of the Lord are with them that fear him,” and they who do not “fear him” sufficiently to keep to themselves that which was only intended for them and which they are forbidden to make known to others, prove themselves unworthy to receive the fulfillment of the promise of God, to “crown them with honor, immortality, and eternal life.”

255. Letter from First Presidency, 24 March 1909.

March 24th, 1909

Prest. Don C. Walker,


Dear Brother’–

We regret to say that we could not possibly find time to give second blessings to the large number of brethren and sisters mentioned in yours of the 23rd inst., during the coming conference. The Logan Temple will re-open on the 12th of April, and it may be that Prest. Budge will be able to accomodate your people within the conference date, and we suggest that you write him on the subject.

Your brethren,

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

On behalf of the First Presidency

P.S. There were no temple recommends enclosed in your letter. Of course you understand it to be in order that temple recommends should be issued to each man and his wife or wives, and sent here for the endorsement of the President before presenting them at the temple.

If you had consulted us beforehand we should have advised not giving recommends for second blessings to so many at the same time, as privacy and regard to this matter is strictly a required, and this you should charge them with, if they all come at one time especially.

256. Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. 5:110-112 Circular Letter of First Presidency, 1918.

Bishops are not to issue recommends for second anointings: that is the province of Presidents of Stakes, under approval of the President of the Church, and the individuals selected must not be informed until after the issuance of such recommend. As a general rule, such recommends are issued only in behalf of those who have had endowments in lifetime, and have been sealed and lived together faithfully as husband and wife, and who have been valiant in the defense of truth and active in all good works.

Joseph F. Smith

257. Letter from Heber J. Grant. CHO/Ms/f/272/#4/Letter #473.

  June 23rd 1921

Prest. William L. Rich,

Paris, Idaho.

Dear Brother:–

I have signed the seven recommends for second blessings contained in yours of the 22nd inst., and have forwarded the same to President Shepard of the Logan Temple, as requested by you.

The following is one of the instructions given to Stake Presidents in connection with their issuing temple recommends for second blessings:

“Send each and every recommend direct to the President, not by the hand of anybody, the person recommended included. After the President returns the recommend to you bearing his signature of approval, it will then be in order for you to deliver it in person to the head of the family thus recommended, explaining to him in a private confidential way the sacredness of the ordinance, cautioning him at the same time not to speak of it to anybody outside the temple: and in the interest of privacy you are requested not to send more than one family to the temple the same week bearing a recommend of this character.”

If you and Prest. Sheperd of the Logan temple can agree between yourselves that these blessings can be administered to each family recommended by you without other families so recommended knowing anything at all about it, you have my consent that the recommends be acted on during the week of the visitation of yourself and people at the temple, otherwise the instruction in regard to this matter should be strictly adhered to.

Your brother,

Heber J. Grant

258. George F. Richards Journal; Ms/f/600/#4/CHO; June 22, 1921.

I obtained the ear of Presidents Heber J. Grant and Anthony W. Ivins and presented the following matters to them which they approved:

“Fourth, that in the ceremony of the Second Endowments the name of the husband should be given after the words, your husband in the anointing and again the sealing of the anointing.”

259. George F. Richards Journal; November 10, 1921.

Called upon Presidents Grant & Ivins and presented to them the rulings & instructions given & on record pertaining to the Second Anointings.

260. This is from a xerox of an original typescript For 1901-1921

To the Stake President:–

1. Give names in full, using one form only and the next for each and every family.

2. Leave the line commencing with the word “for” blank. 

3. Send each and every recommend direct to the President, not by hand of anybody, the person recommended included. After the President returns the recommend to you bearing his signiture of approval, it will then be in order for you to deliver it in person to the head of the family thus recommended, explaining to him in a private confidential way the sacredness of the ordinance, cautioning him at the same time not to speak of it to anybody outside the temple: and in the interest of privacy you are requested not to send more than one family to the temple the same week bearing a recommend of this character.

4. All persons thus recommended should be true and faithful men, as a general thing rippened by age and experience, men valiant for the truth, who have never been known to waiver in the defense of the faith or to withhold their allegiance to or their support of the constituted authorities of the Church, as well as of clean moral lives, and their wives true and faithful Latter-day Saints. If there should be any doubt in your mind as to the entire worthiness of any person contemplated by you, it would be quite in order for you to satisfy yourselves by inquiry, but without mentioning the purpose thereof.

5. In the earlier life of the Church, the President thereof made the selections himself, but on account of its growth numerically, the Stake President, and he alone, has been designated to do this for him, subject of course to his approval and the Stake President therefore becomes the sole custodian of this book. 

6. A letter addressed to the President should accompany each recommend, giving a brief account of the man thus recommended. A valiant, faithful men, deceased, should not be overlooked. They may be recommended on the strength of the testimony of faithful men who knew them, whose testimony can be relied on.

261. Letter from First Presidency, 18 March 1922.

18 March 1922

Presidents David John Joseph B. Keeler


Dear Brother,–

Referring to yours of the 15th inst. we would say that President Woodruff’s instructions to Stake Presidents on the subject of recommending for second anointing limited them to persons who had gathered with the Church, whether dead or alive, and this was the policy adopted by President Snow, although he may have made exceptions to it. And it is our mind that faithful men who have gathered with the Church, who can be recommended as worthy to receive these higher blessings, but who through death were deprived of them, should receive them by proxy. It would be in order therefore to extend your recommends to Franklin P. Whitmore, deceased, inasmuch as you knew him to be worthy.

Your brethren

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

First Presidency

P.S. Names of wives of deceased persons recommended for second blessings must be given recommends.

(Anthon H. Lund name does not appear in this letter since he passed away in 1921, and another counselor had not yet been chosen.)

262. Diaries of Joseph Fish, p. 409; BYU/Mor/M270.1/F237; January 1, 1926.

January 1, 1926. I went through the temple for Samuel York who was dead. My son, Jesse L., also went through and received his endowments and sealed to Miss Lucile Cottam. My wife Julia Ann went through and received her second anointing at the same time.

263. Letter from Heber J. Grant, January 30, 1926. CHO/Ms/f/272/ #14/Letter #448.

January 30, 1926

President S. L. Chipman

American Fork,


Dear Brother Chipman,

I have your letter of the 27th inst., enclosing one from Brother Arthur Bradder, making application for his Second Blessings.

Second blessings are only given by the President of the Church upon recommendation of a member of the Council of the Twelve. At some time when one of the Apostles is in your stake, if he feels to properly recommend Brother Bradder, the matter will be taken under advisement.

I return his letter herewith.

Sincerely your brother,

Heber J. Grant

A. Enc.

264. Letter from First Presidency, October 19, 1926. CHO/Ms/f/ 272/#16/Letter #266.

October 19, 1926

President Joseph W. McMurrin

153 West Adams St.,

Los Angeles, Calif.

Dear Brother McMurrin:

Answering your letter of October llth.

We find upon inquiry that it has been some years since ordinances bestowing second blessings have been performed in cases where both parties are dead.

Where people are sealed in the temple for and on behalf of the dead, or in cases where people who are dead were themselves sealed while living, the feeling has always been that every privilege, power and blessing of every description will be given to them, if they have lived worthy of same, and that they could not have more even if they had additional blessings sealed upon them. We, therefore, feel that there is no necessity of performing the ordinances that Sister Smith requests.

With kindest regards,

Sincerely your brethren,

/s/ Heber J. Grant 

/s/ A. W. Ivins   

/s/ C. W. Nibley  

First Presidency

265. Utah Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 21:53-57; Elder Joseph Fielding Smith; 1930; “Temples and the Sacred Rites Therein”.

Only in the temple of the Lord can the fulness of the Priesthood be received. Now that temples are on the earth, there is no other place where the endowment and the sealing powers for all eternity can be given. No man can receive the keys of exaltation in any other place. Joseph Smith has said that “the Saints have not too much time to save and redeem their dead, and gather together their living relatives * * * before the earth will be smitten and the consumption decreed falls upon the world.” When that day comes those who have professed to believe in the latter day work, and who have rejected the doctrine of temple building and the ceremonial endowments therein, will find themselves shut out of the kingdom of God. This subject occupied the mind of the Prophet Joseph Smith for several years before his death, for the Lord revealed to him all things pertaining to the work in the temples, and he revealed them unto others that the work might on. In the Temples the Saints are performing the ordinances which will insure, through faithfulness, the fulness of the blessings of the kingdom of God. (p.57)

266. The Way to Perfection, pp. 9, 160, 208; Joseph Fielding Smith, August 1, 1931 (1970 ed).

Latter-day Saints believe in this progression in eternity until, eventually, we become worthy through knowledge, wisdom, humility, and obedience, to be like God, and then to have the privilege of being made equal in power, might and dominion (D.C. 76:95), and to possess all that the Father hath (D.C. 84:38) as members of “the Church of the First-born.” (D.C. 76:54,94.) ***

Elijah was clothed with the fulness of Priesthood and by this authority all things done in the name of the Lord are made valid. * * *

The Church of the Firstborn

Each person baptized into the Church is under obligation to keep the commandments of the Lord. He is under covenant, for baptism is a “new and an everlasting covenant.” (D&C 22:1) When he has proved himself by a worthy life, having been faithful in all things required of him then it is his privilege to receive other covenants and to take upon himself other obligations which will make of him an heir, and he will become a member of the “Church of the Firstborn.” Into his hands, “the Father has given all things.” He will be a priest and a king, receiving of the Father’s fulness and of his glory. Is this worth having? It cannot be obtained without some effort. It cannot be obtained without knowledge of the things of God. We frequently hear quoted these words of the Lord to Joseph Smith: “It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.” In ignorance of what” the philosophies of the world? No! In ignorance of the Gospel truth—the saving principles and ordinances by which salvation comes! These must not only be understood, but they must be lived! These must not only be understood, but they must be lived! Knowledge of them will not in itself save us! Obedience thereto will! And then will come the fulness of knowledge, bringing with it wisdom, power and dominion. And the fulness of these blessings can only be obtained in the temple of the Lord! * * *

267. George F. Richards Journal; Ms/f/600/#4/CHO; September 3, 1931.

In the evening I performed the ordinance of sealing Maud May Babcock to President Brigham Young, Willard Young acting for his father. I also administered Seconds to her.

268. George F. Richards Journal; April 19, 1934.

I wrote Prest. Heber J. Grant as fol:

Dear Pres. Grant:

If the following named brethren, General Authorities of the Church, and their wives have received their Second blessings, the Salt Lake Temple Records do not disclose that fact, I therefore conclude that they have not except possibly Pres Hart who may have received his blessings in the Logan Temple:

J. Reuben Clark Jr.   [GA in 1933]

Charles H. Hart   [GA in 1906]

Antoine R. Ivins   [GA in 1909]

Samuel O. Bennion   [GA in 1933]

John H. Taylor   [GA in 1933]

I understand that it is in order for a member of the Council of Twelve to recommend worthy members to the President of the Church to receive their Second blessings. Accordingly, I recommend that these brethren and their wives be invited to receive their blessings.

269. Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 1st ed., pp. 329-330; 1938.

It was from him [Joseph Smith] that I learned that the highest dignity of womanhood was to stand as a queen and priestess to her husband, and to reign for ever and ever as the queen mother of her numerous and still increasing offspring.

270. Lundwall Microfilm Roll #1; Letter from President D. O. McKay to N. B. Lundwall; May 25, 1940.

Mr. N. B. Lundwall

P.O. Box 2033   May 25, 1940

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brother:

Regarding your proposed new book on “Temples of the Most High”, I suggest that you confine your statistics to those which have already been approved by the General Authorities for publicity. Even some already published by the Arizona Temple, by Brother Frank T. Pomeroy, are now withheld from the general public. No statistics should be given out by any of the Temples until the items are first submitted to the First Presidency. Bishop Christiansen was right when he answered you to this effect.

Again, thanking you for a copy of “The Vision”, I remain

Sincerely yours.

/s/ David O. McKay

271. George F. Richards Journal; Ms/f/600/#4/CHO.

December 10, 1942:

I attended regular Thu[rsday]. meetings. At the l0 A.M. meeting of the Presidency, the Twelve and the Patriarch held in the Temple, the matter of allowing the administration of second blessings was considered. I brought up the subject at our last Quarterly meeting of the Twelve held in the Temple Sept. 29th last. I made quite an extended talk on the subject at that time at the conclusion of which it was decided by vote to present the question to the Council of the First Presidency, the Twelve and the Patriarch. To-day all were present except Geo. Albert Smith, Richard R. Lyman and Sylvester Q. Cannon and I suggested to Pres. Clawson that he bring the question forward, which he did. I had a chance to explain, and it was decided that the four members of the Council, viz. J. Reuben Clark Jr., Albert E. Bowen, Harold B. Lee and the Patriarch Jos. F. Smith should be privileged to receive theirs and others whom the members of this council may recommend and the Council sustain. Pres. Grant appointed me to administer these blessings. I suggested that Jos. Fielding Smith be appointed to assist me in this work. We are to make the appointment, i.e. Jos. Fielding & I, for the brethren.

I have anxiously looked forward to this action.

The records show that there have been 32,495 such blessings administered in the Church and that during the last 12 years there have been but 8 administrations. Thirteen of the 32 General Authorities had not had theirs and at least two others who have had them with their first wives have later wives not yet anointed to their husbands.

December 24, 1942:

I obtained permission of Pres. Grant to see him at his home. I found him in bed and his condition seemed worse than I had expected to find. I gave him a blessing, and recommended that he issue recommends to all the General Authorities and their wives who have not received their second blessings and give it [to] them for Christmas which he approved and authorized also approved Stephen L. Chipman & Wife whom I recommended. I reported to Joseph Anderson, who had recommends made. These I took to the President and he signed them. I returned the signed recommends to Joseph Anderson, the President’s Secretary, for distribution. I feel that this day’s accomplishments has been inspired and is a wonderful accomplishment. May the Lord be praised for ever.

This is one of the most happy days of my life. I am sure it will endure over Christmas.

December 31, 1942:

This has been a wonderful year for me and my family. . . .I have also been instrumental in renewing the former practice in the Church of administering Second Anointings to faithful members, the practice having gone practically into disuse, only eight such blessings having been administered in the past twelve years. Up to twelve years ago there had been administered in the Church thirty two thousand plus of such blessings. The day before Christmas I was instrumental in getting Pres. Grant to sign recommends for thirteen of the general authorities and their wives and the wives of two others of the Council to their husbands; also a recommend for Stephen L. Chipman and wife, he having had his previously. I am sure that the Lord has inspired what I have been able to do along these lines. Pres. Grant, in our council meeting of a few weeks ago appointed me to administer these blessings and at my request appointed Elder Jos. Fielding Smith to assist me. We are the only ones in the Church having this authority by appointment.

October 14, 1943:

Attended 10:00 A.M. meeting of the First Presidency, the Twelve & the Patriarch. The council approved my recommendation that 2nds be offered the following: Harold S. Snow of St. George Temple, El Ray Christiansen Pres. of Logan Temple and David Smith, Pres. of Idaho Falls Temple.

August 12, 1949:

I attended quarterly meeting of the Twelve where I presided and presented my views respecting the non administration of seconds, which received approval with the request by motion made by Stephen L. Richards that I present the matter to the Presidency if I could get a hearing, either to them alone or in the Council of the First Presidency & the Twelve.

August 18, 1949:

At the 10:00 A.M. Council meeting of the Presidency and Twelve I read a paper of 5 or 6 pages deploring the neglect on our part in not administering Second blessings as formerly. The paper and other statements made by me in connection therewith were accepted 100%.

[Excerpts from the paper referred to are given here:]

To the Members of the First Presidency

and the Quorum of the Twelve:

Dear Brethren:

For a long time I have felt that I would like to express to you the disappointment I feel that we have practically discontinued the administration of Second Anointings in the Church, and to give to you some of the reasons why I feel as I do.

I have not been able to bring myself to feel that the Lord is pleased with us in neglecting such an important and sacred endowment, which He has given us to be administered in His holy temples to worthy members of His Church.

The Second Anointings were given by revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith to be administered to worthy members of the Church, both the living and the dead; and from the days of the Prophet Joseph to the days of President Heber J. Grant that practice continued.

[Quotes: D&C 124:40,41 and D&C 124:47,48; and then says:] These things’ I understand to mean and include the Second Anointings, a neglect to administer which in the temples reared for that purpose will be attended by the Lord’s displeasure, and bring upon us cursings instead of blessings, wrath, indignation and judgments.

We calculate to give the Elders of Israel their washings, and anointings, to attend to those last and more impressive ordinances without which we cannot obtain Celestial thrones. . . . Joseph Smith’s Teachings, p. 362.

This refers directly to the Second Anointings. Nowhere else in Church ordinances are men made kings and priests unto the Most High God.

In olden times, kings in Israel were anointed such by the Prophets of God. Should not those who are to become kings and priests and attain to Godhood be anointed thereto while here on earth? That is the nature of the work of Second Anointings.

Every man and woman who has received his or her first endowments has received a PROMISE that through faithfulness they would be privileged to receive the Second Anointings.

“Brethren and Sisters, if you are true and faithful, the day will come when you will be chosen, called up and anointed kings and queens, priests and priestesses, whereas you are now anointed only to become such. The realization of these blessings depends upon your faithfulness.” (Endowment Ceremonies, p. 1×2.

Thousands of good and faithful men and women are dying without receiving a fulfillment of the promise made them in connection with the temple ceremonies.

When living members receive their Second blessings, or anointings, they are given a charge that they must not speak of those things to anybody; that only those who are invited by the President of the Church are to receive them, and that none others are supposed to know anything about them.

Formerly, the Stake Presidents made their recommendations for Second Anointings to the President of the Church, and when approved by him the individuals so approved received their invitation from the President of the Church, and on presentation of that recommend to the Temple President of the temple district where the individuals resided, the temple president officiated for them. The Stake Presidents had SPECIAL recommend books for that purpose.

About 1928 an incident occurred which so incensed the First Presidency that they had all the recommend books brought in to the President’s office, and instructions were given that no recommends of that character should be given by stake presidents thereafter.

The Twelve were authorized to make recommendations; but their recommendations were rarely ever acted upon favorably, so that the administering Seconds almost entirely ceased. In twelve years, from 1930 to 1942, when these facts were tabulated, but eight such blessings were administered in the Church. Only EIGHT blessings in twelve years!

The following tabulation of Second Blessings administered in the temples where such blessings were administered will no doubt be of interest to you:

Temple Period   Living Dead   Total

Salt Lake To Dec. 10, 1942   14,847 6,226  21,073

Logan To Oct. 13, 1931   3,139 1,229   4,368

St. George To Jan. 13, 1938   1,885 1,619   3,504

Manti To Dec. 12, 1929   2,407 1,143   3,550

Nauvoo In Jan. & Feb. 1846 406

  Totals . . . .   22,278 10,217  32,901

The incident above mentioned which so exasperated the First Presidency was as follows: A brother who had received his Second Blessings, while speaking in a priesthood meeting in one of the Idaho stakes, told the brethren that they all should have their Second Blessings. Of course that was a serious infraction of the charge which he received when he had his Second Anointings; but I have never learned of any serious consequences to follow, except the action on the part of the Authorities, discontinuing the administration of those blessings in the Church.

It appears to me that the mistake made by the good brother in Idaho was not so serious as to justify letting those sacred ordinances come into disuse in the Church. I think now is the time to act; with such modifications as to details as the brethren might feel to make, insuring that these blessings be administered only to those who are worthy to receive them. * * *

If there is condemnation resting upon us for our neglect, the longer we delay action the greater will be our condemnation. . . .

Temples under construction now and in the future should be provided with a room for the administration of these blessings alone, to be known as the Holy of Holies, for if we do not move in the matter before us, some others coming after us will do so for it must be done, and temples should be designed and constructed with that thought in mind.

It is to be hoped that this communication will not be shelved and forgotten without full consideration by this Council. For several years these matters have given me great mental anxiety and spiritual concern, and but for want of courage I would have sought an opportunity to be heard years ago. I do not want to leave this sphere of action without VIGOROUSLY protesting our indifference and neglect.

Sincerely and affectionately your brother,

GEORGE F. RICHARDS, President, Council of Twelve.

December 7, 1949:

I went to the temple at 11:00 a.m. and assisted Elder Jos. Fielding Smith, administered Seconds to Preston D. Richards and wife Barbara, and the members of Emigration Stake Presidency and their wives.

January 6, 1950:

I went to the Temple by appointment, and administered Second blessings to three of the general authorities and their wives, Elders Eldred G. Smith [GA since 1947], Milton R. Hunter [GA since 1945] and Bp. Thorp B. Isaacson [GA since 1946]. Bro. T. B. Isaacson stood as proxy for Samuel F. Ball who is dead & Betsy Hollings Richards for Adena Christena Anderson Ball.

April 20, 1950:

I obtained permission from President Geo. Albert Smith for my Sons Oliver and Ray and their wives to receive their Second Anointings.

272. A. C. Lambert Collection; Ms 35/Box 26/Bk 3; Some notes around 1950 in the back of the book.

Washings, Anointings


Second anointing

“A rather common phrase at times in Mormon communities was the phrase the “second endowments.”

Very little information can be gathered about the “second endowments.”


The “Second anointing” was rather clearly a temple ordinance. It seemed to have something to do with elevating the rights or privileges or authority of an already “endowed” person (initiate) to a level “equal” with some select group of persons already high in authority.

(ln Nauvoo, I11. in the Winter of 1845)

“. . .a few men had dispensations granted them to enter into plural marriages which were thought to be the stepping-stone to celestial exaltation. Without plural marriage a man could not attain to the fullness of the holy priesthood and be made equal to our savior.”

273. Temples of the Most High! p. 207; 1952 ed.; N. B. Lundwall comp.; Remarks concerning the Assembly room in the Los Angeles Temple.

The first floor will be devoted to an assembly room, rooms in the wings of the block U annex. The second floor will be devoted entirely to ordinance rooms. The third floor will include a large assembly room, similar to that on the top floor of the Salt Lake Temple, where sacred assemblies are held on rare occasions.

274. Doctrines of Salvation, Vol 2; by Joseph Fielding Smith; compiled by Bruce R. McConkie; 19bb edition.

Eternal life is life in the presence of the Father and the Son. Those who receive it become members of the “Church of the Firstborn” and are heirs as sons and daughters of God. They receive the fulness of blessings. They become like the Father and the Son and are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. [p. 9] * * *

We must continue to the end; we must obey the commandments. We must keep the ordinances. We must receive covenants, sealings, the sealing power, and privileges which are obtained in the temple of the Lord, and then live in accordance with them. That we must do. [p. 15] * * *

Comparatively few of the children of men will find the salvation which is found in the celestial kingdom, or in other words the exaltation which will make of them heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ—even sons of God. Those who gain this exaltation receive the fulness of the power, might, and dominion of that kingdom. They overcome all things. They are crowned as priests and kings and become like Jesus Christ. [p. 24] * * *

Those who are faithful in obtaining the priesthood and magnifying their calling become members of the Church of the Firstborn, receiving all that the Father hath; and this is according to an oath and covenant that cannot be broken. * * *

The destiny of the faithful man in this Church and the faithful woman is to become a son and daughter of God. * * *

Now how are we going to become the sons of God and, of course, daughters as well? How is it done? Can we become the sons and heirs of our Eternal Father simply by being baptized for the remission of our sins after we have repented and have had faith, and have had hands laid upon us for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and have come into the Church? No, it takes more than that. * * *

If you would become a son or a daughter of God and an heir of the kingdom, then you must go to the house of the Lord and receive blessings which there can be obtained and which cannot be obtained elsewhere; and you must keep those commandments and those covenants to the end. * * *

The ordinances of the temple, the endowment and sealings, pertain to exaltation in the celestial kingdom, where the sons and daughters are. The sons and daughters have access to the home where he dwells, and you cannot receive that access until you go to the temple. Why? Because you must receive certain key words as well as make covenants by which you are able to enter. * * * You get your key in the temple, which will admit you. ***

Those who become servants are those who are not willing to receive these blessings in the house of the Lord and abide in them. They are not sons; they are not daughters. They are children of God, it is true, for all men are his children. But they do not inherit, and therefore they remain servants throughout eternity. * * * There will be a great many servants, but there will not be many heirs. * * *

Those who gain exaltation in the celestial kingdom are those who are members of the Church of the Firstborn; in other words, those who keep all the commandments of the Lord. There will be many who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who shall never become members of the Church of the Firstborn.

So being ordained an elder, or a high priest, or an apostle, or even President of the Church, is not the thing that brings the exaltation, but obedience to the laws and the ordinances and the covenants required to those who desire to become members of the Church of the Firstborn, as these are administered in the house of the Lord. To become a member of the Church of the Firstborn, as I understand it, is to become one of the inner circle. We are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by being baptized and confirmed, and there are many who seem to be content to remain such without obtaining the privileges of exaltation.

The Lord has made it possible for us to become members of the Church of the Firstborn, by receiving the blessings of the house of the Lord and overcoming all things. Thus we become heirs, “priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory,” who shall “dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever,” with full exaltation. Are such blessings worth having? * * *

If you want salvation in the fullest, that is exaltation in the kingdom of God, so that you may become his sons and his daughters, you have got to go into the temple of the Lord and receive these holy ordinances which belong to that house, which cannot be had elsewhere. No man shall receive the fulness of eternity, of exaltation, alone; no woman shall receive that blessing along; but man and wife, when they receive the sealing power in the temple of the Lord, if they thereafter keep all the commandments, shall pass on to exaltation, and shall continue and become like the Lord. And that is the destiny of men; that is what the Lord desires for his children. * * *

The endowments are for advancement in that kingdom, and the sealings for our perfection, provided we keep our covenants and obligations. [pp. 35-45]

275. Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3; by Joseph Fielding Smith; compiled by Bruce R. McConkie; 1956 edition.


How Christ Gained Fulness of Priesthood. Joseph Smith said: “If a man gets a fulness of the priesthood of God, he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.”

I hope we understand that. If we want to receive the fulness of the priesthood of God, then we must receive the fulness of the ordinances of the house of the Lord and keep his commandments. * * *

Let me put this in a little different way. I do not care what office you hold in this Church–you may be an apostle, you may be a patriarch, a high priest, or anything else–you cannot receive the fulness of the priesthood unless you go into the temple of the Lord and receive these ordinances of which the Prophet [Joseph] speaks. No man can get the fulness of the priesthood outside of the temple of the Lord. There was a time when that could be done, for the Lord could give these things on the mountain tops–no doubt that is where Moses got it, that is no doubt where Elijah got it–and the Lord said that in the days of poverty, when there was no house prepared in which to receive these things, that they can be received on the mountain tops. [pp. 131-32] * * *

There is nothing in the teachings of the gospel which declares that men are superior to women. The Lord has given unto men the power of priesthood and sent them forth to labor in his service. A woman’s calling is in a different direction. The most noble, exalting calling of all is that which has been given to women as the mothers of men. Women do not hold the priesthood, but if they are faithful and true, they will become priestesses and queens in the kingdom of God, and that implies that they will be given authority. The women do not hold the priesthood with their husbands, but they do reap the benefits coming from that priesthood. [p. 178]

276. BYU Faculty Meeting, prior to 1965.

Brother Robert Bushman questioned Elder Harold B. Lee at a BYU faculty meeting [sometime before 1965] about the second endowment and Elder Lee said there was no tie in with that and seeing Jesus. The second endowment is being done [inferred he had been called up to it]. Pres. McKay called some up. He refused to associate the second endowment with seeing Jesus. He refused to comment on it.

277. Mormon Doctrine; 1966 edition; Elder Bruce R. McConkie.

After a person has advanced in righteousness, light, and truth to the point that the fulness of the ordinances of the house of the Lord have been received so that he has been sealed up unto eternal life, then as expressed in the Prophet’s language, the law is: “If a man commit adultery, he cannot receive the celestial kingdom of God. Even if he is saved in any kingdoms, it cannot be the celestial kingdom.” (H.C. Vol 6:81) [pp. 24-25]

The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds the keys of salvation for all men now living because he is the only one by whose authorization the sealing power of the priesthood can be used to seal men up to salvation and exaltation in the kingdom of God. [p. 411]

278. Interview with Elder Theodore M. Burton, December 8, 1966, by Kenneth W. Godfrey.

In an interview with Elder Theodore Burton on December 8, 1966 he told Kenneth W. Godfrey that the complete Nauvoo temple book was in the Salt Lake Temple. He further stated that in this book was the full ceremony relative to giving second endowments. This ceremony is confidential and only given to a person when called by the First Presidency of the Church. He also stated that temple work is done differently today than it was then in that not as many people receive their second endowments. He further stated that he had not had his second endowment as yet but that his father and mother had had theirs before their deaths.

279. W. Dean Belnap “Notebooks”, 1966.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie received his second anointings in 1966.

280. Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. 3:220; 1966.

Temple recommends for second anointings still require the signature of the President of the Church.

281. The Improvement Era, pp. 65-66; June 1970; April General Conference, Priesthood Session by President Joseph Fielding Smith; “Magnifying Our Callings in the Priesthood”.

What a glorious thing it is to know that the Lord has offered to each of us the fullness of the priesthood, and has promised us that if we will receive this priesthood and magnify our callings, we shall gain an everlasting inheritance with him in his kingdom! * * *

To prepare the way for the coming of Elijah and the restoration of the sealing power, because of which men may receive the fullness of the priesthood, John the Baptist came in May of 1829 and conferred upon Joseph and Oliver the Aaronic Priesthood. A short time later Peter, James, and John came and gave them the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Then on April 3, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple, Elijah the prophet returned and bestowed upon them the sealing power, the power to use the priesthood to bind on earth and seal in heaven.

Then in 1841 the Lord revealed to the Prophet that “the fullness of the priesthood” was available to men only in the temple in “a house” built to his name. (See D&C 124.) And in 1843 the Prophet said: “If a man gets a fullness of the priesthood of God he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.” (D.H.C., Vol 5:244)

Let me put this in a little different way. I do not care what office you hold in the Church—you may be an apostle, you may be a patriarch, a high priest or anything else—but you cannot receive the fullness of the priesthood and the fullness of eternal reward unless you receive the ordinances of the house of the Lord; and when you receive these ordinances, the door is then open so you can obtain all the blessings which any man can gain.

Do not think because someone has a higher office in the Church than you have that you are barred from receiving the fullness of the Lord’s blessings. You can have them sealed upon you as an elder if you are faithful; and when you receive them, and live faithfully and keep these covenants you then have all that any man can get. There is no exaltation in the kingdom of God without the fullness of the priesthood, and every man who receives the Melchizedek Priesthood does so with an oath and a covenant that he shall be exalted.

282. Comment by Paul Royall, 1970.

Paul F. Royall, General Secretary of the Genealogical Society, across whose desk records of all temple endowments and other ordinances must pass, stated that 13 second anointings were done last year (1970).

283. Relief Society Courses of Study, 1971-72, pp. 40-41.


The Lord through Moses revealed that it was his purpose to bring to pass man’s resurrection and also his eternal life, or godhood; it was designed in the heavens that through priesthood powers the blessing of exaltation would be received. (Moses 1:39; D&C 128:5) * * *

The temple has been built to provide a place where the endowment, eternal marriage, and the fullness of the priesthood may be received. (D&C 124:25-28; TPJS, p. 308) The Prophet said the following regarding women in the Church:

The faithful members of the Relief Society should receive them [the keys of the Priesthood] with their husbands. (Ibid., p. 226)

284. The Ensign/December 1972, p. 34; October General Conference, 1972; President Spencer W. Kimball.

Joseph Smith bestowed upon the Twelve apostles all the keys and authority and power that he himself possessed and that he had received from the Lord. He gave unto them every endowment, every washing and anointing, and administered unto them the sealing ordinances.

285. From Heart to Heart: An Autobiography–Russell Marion Nelson, p. 360; by Russell M. Nelson. From the chapter -Highlights of 1974″.

June 4– . . . President Spencer W. Kimball called me in to notify me that Dantzel and I were to report to the temple on June 9.

June 9–Dantzel and I were privileged to enter the temple on this Sabbath day to attend a special meeting at the invitation of President Spencer W. Kimball. The sacred nature of this event precludes our mentioning more about it here other than to say that it did take place, but this experience is of the greatest importance to us and to our family.

286. Melchizedek Priesthood Manual, 1973-74, pp. 27, 49.

It is not necessary however for one to hold the keys of the Priesthood, that is, become President of the Church, in order to have a fulness of the Priesthood. As President Smith says: ‘If we want to receive the fulness of the Priesthood of God, then we must receive the fulness of the ordinances of the house of the Lord and keep his commandments. . .No man can get the fulness of the Priesthood outside of the temple of the Lord. . . .EVery man who is faithful and will receive these ordinances and blessings obtains a fulness of the Priesthood and the Lord has said that he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.’

Thus in the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood . . . the Lord has provided the means that men may . . . go to the temples of the Lord and receive the higher ordinances and a fulness of the Priesthood, so that if they are faithful to their covenants they may become joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.

In order for men to obtain exaltation they must not only receive the Gospel, they must receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, and not only the Melchizedek Priesthood, but the fulness of the Priesthood, meaning the fulness of the blessings of the Priesthood, which can be obtained only in the temples of the Lord through the holy endowment and the sealing ordinances of the Priesthood.

287. “A Visit To The Washington Temple”; 1975 Tape Recording (with filmstrip); Church Public Communications Dept.; Narrated by Spence Kinard.

The entire top floor of the [Washington] temple is occupied by a single large room the assembly room. It is here that Mormons assembled for the formal dedicatory services which consecrated the temple for its intended use. ***

The three tierd rostrums at each end of the building were occupied by priesthood representatives. Now the room is used periodically for special sessions as convened by the First Presidency.

288. The Ensign/May 1978, p. 48; April General Conference, Priesthood Session; President Spencer W. Kimball; Sermon entitled: “Strengthening the Family—the Basic Unit of the Church”.

Salvation could not come to this world without the mediation of Jesus Christ. How shall God come to the rescue of the generations? He will send Elijah the prophet. The law revealed to Moses in Horeb never was revealed to the children of Israel as a nation. Elijah shall reveal the covenants to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected, and the election made sure.

I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ lives,” said John Taylor, my predecessor, “for I have seen him.” I bear this testimony to you brethren in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

[Note: The reference to the anointing and sealing comes from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 323: “The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected and made sure”, and refers to the second anointing and subsequent sealing which makes a person’s calling and election sure.]

289. Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, 1978-79; “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord”, p. 133.

D&C 131:1-4. Which temple ordinance is required for entrance into the highest degree of the celestial kingdom?

In this regard, President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, “No man shall receive the FULNESS OF ETERNITY, of exaltation, alone; no woman shall receive that blessing alone; but man and wife, when they RECEIVE THE SEALING POWER IN THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD, if they thereafter keep all the commandments, shall pass on to exaltation, and shall continue and become like the Lord, and That is the destiny of men; that is what the Lord desires for his children.” (D.S. 2:44)

290. Commitment, p. 16; 1982 ed., by Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone.

I made the decision that I wanted to walk in high places–not in an aspiring way, but I wanted to serve. It appeared to me that leaders did most of the serving.

When I was about eighteen, I heard of solemn assemblies and priesthood leadership meetings held in conjunction with stake conferences. I heard about nine-hour testimony meetings in the mission field. I heard about meetings in the assembly room in the temple, and I longed to be worthy to one day attend such meetings. I didn’t ever want anything to come into my life that would prevent me from having such opportunities.