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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1851

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1851.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1851.

1851:      2 Jan.:  Remember the poor/covenant in Nauvoo temple.

“All persons who have promised cattle or horses to the committee of the Perpetual Emigrating Company are requested to bring them to Daniel Spencer or Willard Snow.  Those who have promised wheat will please bring in their wheat as early as they can make it convenient, to the tithing store.  And all persons who remember their covenants in the Temple in Nauvoo, are requested to donate of their substance forthwith, that the blessings of a poor but grateful people may be showered down upon their heads–always bearing this scripture in mind ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive,’ and ‘He who giveth unto the poor lendeth unto the Lord.’

Byi order of the Company,


Jan. 2, 1851.”  (DN 1(24):190, 11 Jan., 1851)

10 Jan.:  Father’s blessing: sealed unto eternal life.

“A Blessing pronounced by my self Jan 10th 1851 On the head of John C. Murdock born G.S.L. City Dec 17th 1850 . . .

I seal the[e] up unto eternal life, with these blessings upon thy head even so.  Amen.”  (John Murdock journal, pp. 74-75; LDS Archives, Ouellette)

16 Jan.:  Description of sealing ordinance.

“the ordinance of sealing was attended to which took place last evening, January 16, 1851 by Brigham Young in presence of Brother and Sister Vilate Kimball and Thomas Bullock.  The ceremony appeared solemn and interesting and different from anything the world knows of.  Brother Haywood stood on the floor, his wife taking hold of his left arm with her right and taking first Sister Vary by the right hand and placing it in that of Bro. Haywood’s right hand and in that way she was sealed to him for time and eternity by a form of words most sublime.  When done she [Sister Vary] fell back by taking Sister Haywood’s arm.  I then went forward going through the same ceremony.”  (Martha Spence Heywood, Not by Bread Alone, The Journal of Martha Spence Heywood, 1850-56, pp. 46-47)

18 Jan.:  Seventies Special Conference/ENDOWMENT.

“Saturday, January 18, 1851.  About 10 1/2 a.m. a large congregation of the Seventies had assembled in the Bowery, when President Joseph Young gave an introductory address, stating that the object of the conference, was to examine into the standing and situation of the Seventies; ascertain what vacancies exist in the quorums, and fill the same, so far as it shall be wisdom; attend to ordinations; and to devise ways and means for prosecuting the building of the Seventies’ Hall of Science.–There were present of the first presidents of the Seventies, Joseph Young, Zera Pulsipher, A. P. Rockwood, B. L. Clapp,–also of the Twelve, W. Woodruff, E. T. Benson; and W. Richards.  After prayer, by E. T. Benson, and singing, one hundred and four elders, priests and members were called upon, and ordained into the quorums of Seventies, under the direction of Presidents Rockwood and Clapp.  The ordinations were attended to in the State House.

After an intermission of thirty minutes and partaking of refreshments by the congregation, and arrival of President B. Young, the assembly were severally addressed by Pres’t. Zera Pulsipher, W. Woodruff, J. M. Grant, and Joseph Young, on the importance of the Seventies attending to their several duties; of there being a reformation among the Saints; and of their living so as to have a fullness of the Holy Spirit at all times.  The record of the names of the presidents of the several quorums of Seventies was read, when about 80 were found to be in the valley.  Offerings were made for the Seventies’ Hall of Science, and conference adjourned to early candlelight, when the Bowery was filled. . . .

Sunday, Jan. 19, 1851.–The conference was opened at 10 a.m., with prayer by Elder J. M. Grant, and singing by the choir.

Twenty-four elders came forward to receive ordination into the quorum of Seventies, who being approved, went to the State House and were lectured by Elders Herriman, Pulsipher, and Bullock, upon the responsibilities that devolved upon them, and the requirements of the Holy Priesthood; and ordained into the quorum under the hands of Elders Pulsipher and Herriman.

At the same time the Saints in the Bowery were receiving instruction and wisdom from Pres’t. B. Young, Heber C. Kimball, and P. P. Pratt, on the prospects of commencing a temple in this valley for the endowment of all who were faithful in the work of the ministry, at the same time emphatically declaring that the man who did not settle up his tithing dues, will not have the privilege of receiving his blessings therein.

The Saints were full of joy at the glorious prospect that was laid before them; and the work of reformation among many who have heretofore been lukewarm, has already manifestly commenced.

After an intermission of one hour,

The assembly were adressed by elders Joseph Young, Lorenzo Young, E. T. Benson, A. Lyman, W. Woodruff, and A. P. Rockwood, on the efficacy of prayer, the Seventies’ hall of science, &c., when T. O. Angel, architect to the public works, presented a perspective view of the intended rotunda, and diagrams of the building; afterwards the subject of those men who had come into our midst and become as the President observed ‘winter saints’ was taken up, and on motion, George Love, Washington Loomis, Philip George, Heary Schuck, O. H. Speed, Joseph Alvord, widow Jane M’Carthy, widow Cook, Cynthia Bevry, Charles Montrose and Mrs. Emma Day were cut off from the church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S., for conduct unbecoming the character of saints.  {We understand ‘winter saints’ to mean those who have been baptized just to have the privilege of serving the devil more perfectly, while they winter with the saints, or thieve their way to the mines.  Ed.}

After a discourse on the Seventies’ hall, by elder J. M. Grant, the conference was adjourned till Saturday, Feb. 8, at 10 a.m., and were dismissed with benediction by Prest. Young.”  (DN 1(25):197-198, 25 Jan., 1851)

19 Jan.:  Plan to build SL Temple/only tithed to enter.

“[Brigham] informed the Saints the time had now Come to begin to prepare to build A temple & the people must pay their tithing & he requested the presidents of evry Quorum to take the names of evry member of their quorum & they should sign a paper & covenant to pay their tithing & they who would not do it should be Cut off from the Church.

The ground wants to be laid off for a Temple & garden & materials prepared this season.  A font wants to be built & the Endowments Commence As soon as possible.  Those who went through the Temple at Nauvoo know but vary little about the endowments.  Their was no time to learn them & what little they did learn they have most of them forgotton it.  Many other interesting remarks were made by the president And He called upon the congregation to raise their right hand towards Heaven as A token & covenant that they would help him build a Temple And it was one unanimous vote.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 19 Jan., 1851)

“At the same time the Saints in the Bowery were receiving instruction and wisdom from President B. Young, Heber C. Kimball, and P. P. Pratt, on the prospects of commencing a temple in this valley for the endowment of all who were faithful in the work of the ministry, at the same time emphatically declaring that the man who did not settle up his tithing dues, will not have the privilege of receiving his blessings therein.  The Saints were full of joy at the glorious prospect that was laid before them; and the work of reformation among many who have heretofore been lukeward, has already manifestly commenced.”  (“Special Conference of the Seventies,” from the Deseret News; in MS 13(15):228, 1 Aug., 1851)

Jan.:  Assisted with endowments for 10 years.

“I reached this Salt Lake Valley September 15th, 1847,, and was appointed to take charge of the endowment rooms in the Council House in January, 1851.  I commenced giving endowments February 28th, 1851, and continued in charge until I was called to go on a mission to England in December, 1860, where I stayed until 1863.”  (“Reminiscences of William C. Staines,” Contributor 12(4):123, Feb., 1891)

ca. 11 Feb.:  Lyman Wight baptized for dead father.

“I John Young, recorder of baptisms for the dead in the Zodiac Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, being in the Lord’s house on __ the ___ day of February, AD 1851, did see ___ and Lyman Wight enter the font underneath the said house, and I did see with my eyes, and did hear with my ears and do know that the said ____ did then and there in presence of ____ baptise the said Lyman Wight for and in behalf of his deceased father Levi Wight precisely as he would the said Levi Wight had he himself been present.”  (RLDS Archives, P26-19/F1)

11 Feb.-15 Mar.:  Baptisms for dead in Zodiac.

Other records for baptisms for the dead in Zodiac, all being males officiating for males, and females for females:

     11 Feb.:  10 people

     9 Mar.:   15

     10 Mar.:  16

     11 Mar.:  14

     11 Mar.:  22

     11 Mar.:  16

     11 Mar.:  19

     15 Mar.:  20

(Original records in RLDS Archives, P26-19/F1) 

19 Feb.:  Preparation for Council House endowments.

“I spent the day with the President & others at the Council House preparing A room for our council.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 19 Feb., 1851)

20 Feb.:  Preparation for Council House endowments.

“Bathe in bath house  get clean for endowments

Baptized, washed, anointed.

Thurs., February 20, 1851.  C. C. Rich  W. Woodruf

B. Young  Heber C. Kimball  C. C. Rich  P. P. Pratt  Z. Pulspher did the washing and annointing”

(Council House Endowments, Endowment Records, 20 Feb., 1851-24 Apr., 1854.  Microfilm – Genealogical Library; F-Utah S18S #25165 Pt. 13, “Living Endowments”)

“I spent the day in Council.  Had a good time.  Was Anointed & Blessed under the Hands of President Young.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 20 Feb., 1851)

21 Feb.:  Council House opens.

“Friday, 21st, 1851:  All things in readiness for the endowment.  W. W. Phelps – Satan.  10 a.m. several received endowments.”  (Endowment Records, Council House, 20 February, 1851 – 24 April, 1854.  Microfilm – Genealogical Library.  F – Utah.  S18S.  #25165.  Pt. 13.  “Living Endowments”) 

“In February, the upper room of the Council House was finished dedicated & the People commenced receiving their endowments.”  (Record of Norton Jacob, p. 123)

“Elders Appleby Wells Allen & Hammond was Admitted into our Council to day.  We spent the day in Council.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 21 Feb., 1851)

26 Feb.:  Concerning endowment in Council House.

“In the Evening met several brethren in a prayer meeting at the upper room in Council House  The Endowment is commenced there & this was a meeting after the order of the Priesthood.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 26 Feb., 1851)

ca. 27 Feb.:  Special prayer circles organized.

“In 1851 the conduct of prayer circle meetings was restructured in a manner reminiscent of the Anointed Quorum organized by Joseph Smith in 1843.  Beginning in February 1851, a separate prayer circle was organized in Salt Lake City for each day of the week, but admission was not according to one’s membership in any particular priesthood quorum or organization.  The presidents of these nightly prayer circles in 1851 were–Sunday, William C. Staines; Monday, John Young; Tuesday, Albert P. Rockwood; Wednesday, William Snow; Thursday, Norton Jacobs; Friday, James Fife; and Saturday, Heman Hyde.  Although a member of the First Council of Seventy, Albert P. Rockwood, was the president of the Tuesday Evening Prayer Circle, only two other members of the First Council of Seventy were members of his circle, whereas five bishops of Salt Lake City wards were admitted to his circle.  This mixing of ecclesiastical positions in the membership of the Salt Lake City prayer circles of 1851 suggests that when a man was appointed president of one of these special prayer circles, he could recommend for membership anyone worthy of such opportunity, regardless of ecclesiastical position.  For ease of identification, these circles will be denominated here as special prayer circles, in contrast to ecclesiastical prayer circles where membership was determined by Church position.

The special prayer circles of the 1850s were not restricted to Salt Lake City or even to Utah.  Although data are insufficient to identify the locations of all special prayer circles during this period, it is possible that they were functioning in each of the major Mormon settlements established in the American West.  The Mormon colony in San Bernardino, California, and the St. Louis (Missouri) Stake were both far distant from Church headquarters, yet the former had a prayer circle as early as 1854 and the latter organized a prayer circle in 1857.”  (D. Michael Quinn, “Latter-day Saint Prayer Circles,” BYU Studies 19(1):97, Fall, 1978)

27 Feb.:  Weekly prayer circle organized; sealing.

“On Thursday evening the 27th of Feb., 1851 I was called to Preside over a quorum of 12 persons to meet weekly in Prayer circle in the upper rooms of the council House according to the Holy order of the Priesthood–My wife has hitherto been rather opposed to the Holy order of the Seal of the covenant and of my getting other wives but about this time her mind was wrought upon by the Spirit of God to cease her resistance & in consequence the Lord gave her a greater testimony of the work of the last days than she had ever received before & being through weakness & debility unable to perform alone her duties of House-wife she put herself about seeking for another Help-mate for me–& hearing of girl that wanted employment for a home she sent to her & on Sunday the 30th day of March Maria Van Valkenburg came to reside at my House & Sunday the 20th day of April she was Sealed to me as my second wife at 5 oclock P.M. by Pres. Brigham Young in His office in the upper NWest room of the Council House.”  (Record of Norton Jacob, p. 123)

27 Feb.:  Wives sealed.

“Feb. 26th My wife received her was[h]ing and anointing.  27th My wives were sealed.”  (John Murdock journal, 26/27 Feb., 1851; LDS Archives, Ouellette)

5 Mar.:  Stout’s weekly prayer meeting.

“At 7 o’clock P.M. attended the prayer meeting at the Endowment room as on last Wednesday evening.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 5 Mar., 1851)

12 Mar.:  Stout’s weekly prayer meeting.

“In the evening at the pray circle at the Endowment room.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 12 Mar., 1851)

19 Mar.:  Stout’s weekly prayer meeting.

“Attended the prayer circle at the Endwment room this evening.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 19 Mar., 1851)

26 Mar.:  Stout’s weekly prayer meeting.

“At 7 P.M. attend the prayer meeting at Council H”  (Hosea Stout diary, 26 Mar., 1851)

2 Apr.:  No prayer meeting for lack of a quorum.

“Attend the prayer meeting again but there was not a quorum present.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 2 Apr., 1851)

6 Apr.:  Motion to build temple in SLC.

“The motion to build a Temple to the name of the Lord our God in Great Salt Lake City, was carried by acclamation.

A committee of one, viz., Daniel H. Wells, was appointed to superintend the building of the Temple, and the public works.”  (6 Apr., 1851, General Conference Minutes, MS 13(15):226, 1 Aug., 1851)

“The motion to build a Temple to the name of the Lord our God in G.S.L. City, was carried by acclamation.”  (General Conference Minutes, 6 Apr., 1851; DN 1(31):241, 19 Apr., 1851)

7 Apr.:  No endowment without temple.

“We contemplate erecting a wall around the Temple block this season, preparatory to laying the foundation of a Temple the year following; and this we will be sure to do, if all the Saints shall prove themselves as ready to pay their tithing, and sacrifice and consecrate of their substance, as freely as we will: and if the Saints do not pay their tithing, we can neither build nor prepare for building; and if there shall be no Temple built, the Saints can have no endowments; and if they do not receive their endowments, they can never attain unto that salvation they are anxiously looking for.”  (Fifth General Epistle of the Presidency of the Church, 7 Apr., 1851.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 2:71)

16 Apr.:  Stout’s prayer meeting.

“Attended the prayer circle at 7 o’clock P.M.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 16 Apr., 1851)

23 Apr.:  Prayer meeting a failure.

“Went to the prayer circle but it was a failure.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 23 Apr., 1851)

[Stout records attending prayer circles on the following dates:  7 & 21 May; 4 & 16 Jun.; 2, 15 & 28 Jul. {note how it changed to biweekly, and not necessarily Wednesday evening}; then not until 24 Sep., when there was not a quorum present; then weekly again on 15, 22 & 29 Oct.; 12 & 26 Nov.; 10 Dec.; 1852:  28 Jan.; 4, 11 & 25 Feb.; 17 Mar.; 5 & 12 May; 2, 16 & 30 Jun.; 14 Jul.; 4 & 18 Aug.]

28 Apr.:  Babbitt disfellowshipped for performing sealing.

“These things, drunkenness, and profanity, I with my brethren had covenanted, to endeavor to put down, and these are the things for which I as clerk of the High Council, and as President of the branch of the church at Kanesville had him [Almon Babbitt] cited to appear before the High Council on the 26th inst.  The notice sent to him, his reply and the attendant papers I send accompanying this.  Those were things that as a presiding officer I could not pass by unnoticed, and one thing more, his attending to the ordinance of sealing women to men, which had been strictly forbidden, I considered a matter of serious moment, and required a serious investigation.  I had learned from Brother A. C. Hodge, who confessed to me, and subsequently to Elder [Orson] Hyde and Bishop Bigler, that Almon W. Babbitt had attended to that ordinance for him in the case of Sister Anna Butler.  This case of Brother Hodge with Sister Butler was presented to me for investigations, as a branch matter, by some member of the branch who thought all things were not right, and upon my inquiring of Brother Hodge, which inquiry I made in person, he confessed to me that they had been sealed and that she was in a family way, and upon my pressing the inquiry he informed that Almon W. Babbitt was the one; that he did it for him last summer when he was here.  [Babbitt was currently in Washington, D.C.]

On my presenting this matter to Elder Hyde, which I considered it my duty to do, and thought it unwise to bring it before the branch, in a public manner, Brother Hyde informed me that Brother Hodge wanted he should attend to that for them before he went west last summer, and he refused, and then Brother Hodge wanted he should present the case to you and get a dispensation for him, that he did present it and you refused, saying, let Brother Hodge come up there.  He said that he informed Bro. Hodge of the fact when he returned, and said that Bro. Hodge then insisted upon his attending to it for them, not letting him know that Babbitt had already done it for him.  Therefore, on Bro. Hydes testiony and Bro. Hodges confession, we disfellowshiped Bro. Hodge and Sister Butler, and I send you this report and the attendant paper.”  (“To the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the City of Great Salt Lake, Utah,” from the High Council at Kanesville, by Evan M. Greene, clerk of the High Council and President of the Kanesville Branch, 28 Apr., 1851; JH 28 Apr., 1851)

“This body [Kanesville High Council] at its last session, separated Hon. A. W. Babbitt from the fellowship of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: not for any thing immoral or criminal done in Washington.  The Council did not deal with him as the delegate from Utah.  To the people of Utah who sent him to Washington, is he amenable for his conduct as a delegate from that New Territory.  But it was for profanity and intemperance in the streets of Kanesville; and for corrupting the morals of the people here by giving them liquor to beguile them from the path of duty and honor.  Thus prostituting to the shrine of party zeal, his priestly powers, by which to operate upon the low and deranged passions of men: and for ministering by his priestly office, in things that are forbidden.

Mr. Babbitt did not appear on notice, but by a note denied the jurisdiction of the Council to try him for fellowship, considered the charges and proceedings malicious, and claimed not to know his accusers when the charges were made by the Council, and under their authority the notice was served.”  (Frontier Guardian, 2 May, 1851; JH 2 May, 1851)

“Elder Orson Hyde and Almon W. Babbitt met before the High Council in G. S. L. City, and mutually agreed to bury all past differences which apparently had arisen chiefly through misunderstanding and jealousy.  (See Decision on file.)”  (JH 20 Aug., 1851)

“Sunday, August 24.  Meetings were held in the Bowery; in G. S. L. City, commencing at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  Almon W. Babbitt preached in the forenoon and Elder Orson Hyde in the afternoon.”  (JH 24 Aug., 1851)

3 May:  Plea for help in building Temple Block wall.

“It is the duty of the brethren to attend to their labor tithing, in their respective times and seasons, as specified in the above notice; and it is also the duty of the bishops, to see that their respective wards come forward at the time appointed, and perform the work required of them, but how can the bishops know the facts, unless they themselves are present?  How shall the Temple be built without hands?  How shall those hands be had, unless by tithing?  Preparations have commenced for bringing materials to wall the Temple block; but the trustee-in-trust has not funds even to bring the stone necessary, independent of the labor tithing.  The wall must be built before the Temple commence.  Brethren, it now remains with you to say whether you will have a Temple; to say,–not by word only, THAT YOU HAVE SAID,–but by deed; and unless you come forward with your tithing in labor and eatables, you may look for the house of the Lord in vain.”  (DN 1(32):255, 3 May, 1851)

11 Aug.:  Tithing payment necessary for endowment.

“August 11, 1851:  Had to pay tithing before they could receive endowments.  Had to present receipts from the Tithing office to show he had paid up, from this date on — said B. Y.”  (Endowment Records, op. cit.)

7 Sep.:  No temple blessings without paying tithing.

“The Conference was called to order by President Kimball, who stated that if the people have paid their tithing, the Spirit of God will be on this Conference; and notified the brethren, that another person would not get his endowment until his tithing was paid in full.”  (7 Sep., 1851; Salt Lake General Conference Minutes, from the Frontier Guardian; reprinted in MS 14(3):33, 1 Feb., 1852)

22 Sep.:  No temple blessings without paying tithing.

“It is time that the Saints understood, and it is the duty of all Elders and officers, and especially the Bishops, to instruct the Saints, that the paying of their tithing is a prominent portion of the labour which is allotted to them, by which they are to secure a future residence in the heaven they are seeking after.  To be prepared for a Celestial Heaven, they want the blessings of a Terrestrial Temple, builded to the name of Israel’s God, and without these blessings they cannot be prepared for the greatest glory; and should any one succeed in passing through the Temple, and receive all the blessings and endowments offered to any, that person never having tithed for the building of the Temple, or other public good, would have to hear the words of Jesus–enter in at the door, and he that entereth not in at the door, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and robber; and the House of the Lord is the door to those who help to build it, but those who have the opportunity and do it not, the words of the Saviour remain true, if they enter therein; and from henceforth the living may not expect the blessings of the Temple unless they help to build it.  Your tithing we value not, only as it affects your salvation, and the salvation of the dead.”  (Sixth General Epistle of the Presidency of the Church, 22 Sep., 1851, MS 14:17-25[15 Jan., 1852])

6 Oct.:  Not all endowments without temple.

“The first I have noted is a question,–shall we commence to build a temple next spring, in order that we may receive our endowment more fully?  There are many in this congregation who are aware that we do not give all the endowments, neither can we, legally, until we build a temple.  The endowments we now give are given merely by permission, as we have not a house in which to officiate in these ordinances of salvation, that is legal, though we have got a comfortable place, which we have dedicated to the Lord, and the brethren who go therein, know and can bear testimony whether the Spirit of the Lord is there or not.”  (Brigham Young, 6 Oct., 1851.  Quoted in “Pioneer Temple Building in Utah,” RS Magazine 7:660, 1920) 

18 Oct.:  Pat. Blessing:  Sealed to eternal life.

“By the authority of the Holy Priesthood I seal all these Blessings upon thy head and in the Name of Jesus christ I seal thee up unto eternal Lives even so.  Amen.”  (Patriarchal Blessing of Emily Haws, given by Emer Harris, 18 Oct., 1851; in George W. Bean diary, LC Collection)

9 Nov.:  O. Pratt promised life until parousia w/endowed.

“If I knew I Could be translated to all the glory of the Celestial kingdom in an instant I would rather live & suffer with my Brethren through all their troubles untill the coming of Christ.  I am sorry to see the old vetrans who have helped to lay the foundation of this church lay their bodies in the Grave.  I believe many will live those who have had it promised unto them if they remain faithful untill the coming of Christ & help build up the kingdom.  This has been promised to my By the patriarch & prophet while receiving my Endowment.  The hearts of men were inspired to give us these blessings while their hands were upon our heads.  This always stimulates us to hold on by faith when death is around us & slayes thousands upon our right & left hand.”  (Orson Pratt, in Wilford Woodruff diary, 9 Nov., 1851)

22 Nov.:  Holy Ghost and “seal of eternal life.”

“I taught them [while on his mission to Australia] and they invited me to call again and I pray the Lord to bless them all with faith and obedience that they may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost with the seal of eternal life.”  (John Murdock journal, 22 Nov., 1851; LDS Archives, Ouellette)

16 Dec.:  “We may have suitable accommodations for them.”

“Brethren, we are the Lord’s, and all we possess; and I have determined, by the help of the Lord and this people, to build Him a house.  You may ask, ‘Will He dwell in it?’  He may do just as He pleases; it is not my prerogative to dictate to the Lord.  But we will build Him a house, that if He pleases to pay us a visit, He may have a place to dwell in, or if He should send any of His servants, we may have suitable accommodations for them.”  (Brigham Young, 16 Dec., 1851; JD 1:376)