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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1872

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1872.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1872.

1872:  3 Mar.:  Save ourselves, progenitors and posterity.

“Standing in this capacity there is a work which we have to perform–to save ourselves, our progenitors, our posterity, and to act as saviors upon Mount Zion, to build the temples of the Lord and to administer in them, and as eternal being to watch after the eternal interests of humanity.  This is the position that we occupy.”  (John Taylor, 3 Mar., 1872; JD 14:340)

3 Mar.:  Sealed to eternal life.

“Salt Lake City, March 3, 1872.  A blessing given by John Smith, patriarch, upon the head of William Carter Staines . . .

I seal thee up unto eternal life with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection with many of thy father’s house even so.  Amen.”  (LDS Archives, Ms d 7071)

6 Apr.:  Railroad to the Temple quarry.

“Our brethren can observe that a very handsome addition has been made to the foundation of the Temple here since the last Annual Conference, and they can now begin to form some idea of how the work is going to look.  When you realize that all the granite that is in that immense foundation has been hauled some seventeen miles with oxen, mules and horses, you must realize that a very great job has been accomplished.  But at the present time we have a railroad almost into the quarry, and the result is that the labor has been greatly lessened, and the rock and the sand and other building material can be brought here at vastly less expense than formerly, and consequently we will be able to push the work forward more rapidly.”  (George A. Smith, 6 Apr., 1872; JD 14:370)

7 Apr.:  Elijah and work for the dead.

“But the Lord burns all the proud and those who do wickedly, he has told us he would send Elijah the Prophet.  He says, ‘Behold, I will send unto you Elijah the Prophet, he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.’  Recollect, this is to be just before the day of burning, before the great and notable day of the Lord should come.

Elijah, the Prophet, then, must come from heaven–that same man who was translated in a chariot of fire, and who had such power while on the earth that he could fight, as it were, all the enemies of Israel that cam against him; he could call down fire from heaven and consume the fifties as they came by companies to take him.  That same man was to be sent in the last days, before the great and notable day of the Lord.  What for?  To restore a very important principle–a principle which will turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children.  Has that Prophet been sent to the earth, according to the prediction?  Yes.  When did he come, and to whom did he come?  He came to that despised young man, Joseph Smith.  According to the testimony of Joseph Smith, the Prophet Elijah stood before him, in the presence of Oliver Cowdery, and gave them these keys.  What is included in this turning of the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children?  There is included in it a principle for the salvation of the fathers that are dead, as well as for the children who are living.  You have heard, Latter-day Saints, for years and years, that God has given keys, by which the living in this Church might, not only the works necessary for their own salvation, but also certain works necessary to the salvation of their ancestors as far back as they could obtain their genealogies.  What can be done by us for our fathers who have lived and died during the last seventeen hundred years, without hearing the Gospel in its fullness and power?  Hundreds and thousands, and millions of them were sincere and honest, and served the Lord the best they knew; but they lived in the midst of apostate Christendom, and never heard the Gospel preached by inspired men, neither had they the chance of having its ordinances administered to them by men having authority from God.  Must they be shut out from the kingdom of God, and be deprived of the glory, joys and blessings of celestial live because of this?  No, God is an impartial being, and when he sent Elijah the Prophet to confer the keys I have referred to upon Joseph Smith, he intended that this people should work for the generations of the dead, as well as for the generations of the living; that these ordinances which pertain to men here in the flesh might be administered in their behalf by those of their kindred living in this day and generation.  In this way the Latter-day Saints will be baptized and receive the various ordinances of the Gospel of the Son of God for their forefathers, as far as they can trace them; and when we have traced them as far back as we can possibly go, the Lord God has promised that he will reveal our ancestry back until it shall connect with the ancient priesthood, so that there will be no link wanting in the great chain of redemption.

Here then was a restoration in fulfillment of the prediction of Malachi, and for this reason Temples are being built.  The Temple, of which the foundation is laid on this block, is intended for that purpose among others.  It is not intended for the assembling of vast congregations of the Saints, but it is intended to be for the administration of sacred and holy ordinances.  There will be a font for baptism, in its proper place, built according to the pattern that God shall give unto his servants.  It is intended that, in these sacred and holy places, appointed, set apart and dedicated by the command of the Almighty, genealogies shall be revealed, and that the living shall officiate for the dead, that those who have not had the opportunity while in the flesh in past generations to obey the Gospel, might have their friends now living, officiate for them.  This does not destroy their agency, for although they laid down their bodies and went to their graves in a day of darkness, and they are now mingled with the hosts of spirits in the eternal worlds, their agency still continues, and that agency gives them power to believe in Jesus Christ there, just as well as we can who are here.  Those spirits on the other side of the veil can repent just the same as we, in the flesh, can repent.  Faith in God and in his son Jesus Christ, and repentance are acts of the mind–mental operations–but when it comes to baptism for the remission of sins they cannot perform that, we act for them, that having been ordained to be performed in the flesh.  They can receive the benefit of whatever is done for them here, and whatever the Lord God commands his people here in the flesh to do for them will be published to them there by those holding the everlasting Priesthood of the Son of God.  If, when the Gospel is preached to them there, they will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, they will receive the benefits of the ordinances performed on their behalf here, and they will be partakers, with their kindred, of all the blessings of the fullness of the Gospel of the Son of God; but if they will not do this they will be bound over in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day, when they will be judged according to men in the flesh.  We are here in the flesh, and the same Gospel tht condemns the disobedient and the sinner here, will, by the same law, condemn those who are on the other side of the veil.

We have an account of baptism for the dead, as it was administered among the ancient Saints.  Paul refers to it in his epistle to the Corinthians, to prove to them that the resurrection was a reality, ‘else,’ says he, ‘what shall they do who are baptized for the dead?  If the dead rise not at all, why then are they baptized for the dead?’  It was a strong argument that Paul brought forward, and one that the Cornithians well understood.  It was a practice among them to be baptized for their dead, and Paul, knowing that they understood this principle, uses an argument to show that the dead would have a resurrection, and that baptism or immersion in water, a being buried in and the coming forth out of the water, was a similie of the resurrection from the dead.  The same doctrine is taught in one of Peter’s epistles.  About preaching to those who are dead, Peter says that ‘Jesus was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison, which sometimes were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing?’  Indeed!  Jesus himself go to the dead and preach to them?  Yes.  Go to the old antediluvian spirits, and preach to them?  Yes, preach to spirits who had lain in prison over two thousand years, shut up and deprived of entering into the fulness of the kingdom of God because of their disobedience.  Jesus went and preached to them.  ‘What did he preach?’  He did not preach eternal damnation, for that would have been no use.  He did not go and say to them, ‘You ante-diluvian spirits, I have come here to torment you.’  He did not declare that ‘I have opened your prison doors to tell you there is no hope for you, your case is past recovery, you must be damned to everlasting despair.’  This was not his preaching.  He went there to declare glad tidings.  When he entered the prison of those antediluvians, Peter says he preached the Gospel.  ‘For, for this cause was the Gospel preached to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, and live according to God in the spirit.’  Yes, the inhabitants of the spirit world–far more numerous than those in the flesh–must hear the glad tidings of the Gospel fo the Son of God, that all may be judged by the same Gospel and the same law; and if they will receive it be blessed, exalted from their prison house, and brought into the presence of the Father and the Son, and inherit celestial glory.

This, therefore, is among the greatest of all the keys that God has revealed in the last dispensation–the saving of the generations of the dead, as well as the generations of the living, inasmuch as they will repent.  Shall we stop here?  Perhaps I have spoken sufficiently long.  There are other principles, just as important in their nature, that must be restored in the latter-days, but I have not time to dwell upon them.  I have reference now to the restoration of that eternal principle–the marriage covenant, which once was on the earth in the days of our first parents, the eternal union of husband and wife, according to the law of God, in the first pattern of marriage that is given to the children of men.  That must also be restored, and everything in its time and in its season must be restored, in order that all things spoken of by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began may be fulfilled.  But we will leave this subject for some future time.  There must, however, be a restoration of the eternal covenant of marriage, and also of that order of marriage which existed among the old Patriarchs, before the prophecies can be fulfilled, wherein seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, ‘we will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.’  That must be restored, or the prophecies of Isaiah never can be fulfilled.  A great many other things might be named which must be restored in the dispensation of the fulness of times.  It is a dispensation to restore all things, it is the dispensation of the spirit and power of Elias or Elijah, ‘to seal all things unto the end of all things’ preparatory to the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The wicked as well as the righteous will feel the power of these keys.  The wicked as well as the righteous must be sealed to that end for which they have lived.  The wicked, who have disobeyed the law of God, must be sealed over unto darkness, until they have been punished and beaten with many stripes, until the last resurrection, until the last trump shall sound.  But the righteous, in the flesh and behind the veil, will come forth in the first resurrection, but prior to that great event they will co-operate in their labors for the consummation of the purposes of the Almighty so far as necessary to prepare the way for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to reign here, personally, on the earth for the space of one thousand years.  Amen.”  (Orson Pratt, 7 Apr., 1872; JD 15:50-53)

5 May:  Keys of the priesthood “I dare not write.”

“After meeting went to Prayer Circle.  E Snow gave us some heaven born truths and Keys pertaining to the order of the Holy Priesthood, their uses on earth, in Heaven, &c, whic truth I am forbiden to reveal and dare not wr[i]te them in this Book but they are w[r]itten on my heart and I bless the day that I was counted worthy to receive them and I pray my God to help me to retain and treasure them up.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 5 May, 1872)

26 May:  An early Temple Recommend.

“At home all day hunting up scraps of Geneaology pertaining to my dead relatives.  Yesterday I went to Br Jos W Young and got his permission to go to Salt Lake City to administer for my dead.  He give me a good reccomend to Pres D H Wells; the following is a copy:

St George May 25, 1872

To Pres D H Wells.  The Bearer of this, Br Chas L Walker, goes up to the city for the purpose of being baptized for some of his dead friends.  I take pleasure in reccomending Br Walker as a faithful Elder and one worthy of the blessings of the Endowment House

Jos W Young (Pres St George Stake of Zion

This reccomend I esteem priceles to me coming from him, as it opens the door for me to gain greater blessings and more power with God for which I praise my Heavenly Father for his Goodnes. Amen.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 26 May, 1872)

19 Jun.:  Assisted in baptisms for dead.

“A few days ago I presented My recomend to Pres D. H. Wells that I got from Jos W Young.  He read it and said it was all right, but they were rather crowded to day (the 19th) and could not well attend to it, and he cordialy invited [me] to the Endowment house to witnes the Baptism for the dead.  I went with him to the font an acted as witnes, after which Br J F Smith very corteusly asked me to assist in confirming.  I spent the day there and assisted in baptising and confirming over 500.  Never felt better in my life and felt highly honoured in havng the privillege to assist in one of the ordinances for the dead.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 19 Jun., 1872)

26 Jun.:  “All that I can do for them at present.”

“We were Baptized by Brother S H Smith, and confirmed by Pres D H Wells, assisted by others.  Truly this was a day of rejoiceing and Satisfaction to Me.  Long I had prayed and hoped to see this time when I could go forth and administer for my dead friends and I feel truly grateful to My Heavenly Father that He has heard and answered my prayer in opening my way to accomplish this the desire of my heart.  And tho I had to travel 350 miles to attend to it, and 350 back again, I do not think it too much and feel amply repaid for my trouble, besides feeling satisfied that I have done all that I can do for them at present.  Oh Praise the Lord, yea praise the eternal Father, for his Mercy and loving kindness endureth forever.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 26 Jun., 1872)

28 Jul.:  Only 7 men given endowment at first by Joseph.

“Pres. Brigham Young preached at the 14th Ward meeting house, which had been newly floored and the cornice finished in the south end.  The school house was filled to overflowing and many strangers were present.  The President gave an interesting account of many items in the coming forth of the work.  {Office Journal}

Referring to the remarks of President Brigham Young upon this occasion, Elder Wilford Woodruff, in his private journal said:

President Brigham Young preached at the 14th Ward meeting-house.  He told how Joseph Smith got the plates and the attempt of three men to get them from him, and how he was delivered.  He said there were seven men with Joseph when he first organized the Endowments and he Brigham Young, was the only witness on the earth; the rest were dead, and but few were living who received their endowments under his hands.”

(JH 28 Jul., 1872)

“He [Brigham] said there were 7 men with Joseph when he first organized the Endowments & he Brigham Young was the ownly witness on the Earth.  The rest are dead & but few living that received there Endowments under his hands.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 28 Jul., 1872)

24 Aug.:  Other ordinances after this existence.

“We are in possession of all the ordinances that can be administered in the flesh; but there are other ordinances and administrations that must be administered beyond this world.  I know you would ask what they are.  I will mention one.  We have not, neither can we receive here, the ordinance and the keys of the resurrection.  They will be given to those who have passed off this stage of action and have received their bodies again, as many have already done and many more will.  They will be ordained, by those who hold the keys of the resurrection, to go forth and resurrect the Saints, just as we receive the ordinance of baptism, then the keys of authority to baptize others for the remission of their sins.  This is one of the ordinances we can not receive here, and there are many more.  We hold the authority to dispose of, alter and change the elements; but we have not received authority to organize native elements to even make a spear of grass grow.  We have no such ordinance here.  We organize according to men in the flesh.  By combining the elements and planting the seed, we cause vegetables, trees, grains, &c., to come forth.  We are organizing a kingdom here according to the pattern that the Lord has given for people in the flesh, but not for those who have received the resurrection, although it is a similitude.  Another item:  We have not the power in the flesh to create and bring forth or produce a spirit; but we have the power to produce a temporal body.  The germ of this, God has placed within us.  And when our spirits receive our bodies, and through our faithfulness we are worthy to be crowned, we will then receive authority to produce both spirit and body.  But these keys we cannot receive in the flesh.  Herein, brethren, you can perceive that we have not finished, and cannot finish our work, while we live here, no more than Jesus did while he was in the flesh.

We can not receive, while in the flesh, the keys to form and fashion kingdoms and to organize matter, for they are beyond our capacity and calling, beyond this world.  In the resurrection, men who have been faithful and diligent in all things in the flesh, have kept their first and second estate, and worthy to be crowned Gods, even the sons of God, will be ordained to organize matter. . . .

We will operate here, in all the ordinances of the house of God which pertain to this side [of] the vail, and those who pass beyond and secure to themselves a resurrection pertaining to the lives will go on and receive more and more, more and more, and will receive one after another until they are crowned Gods, even the sons of God.  This idea is very consoling.  We are now baptizing for the dead, and we are sealing for the dead, and if we had a temple prepared we should be giving endowments for the dead–for our fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts, relatives, friends and old associates, the history of whom we are now getting from our friends in the east.  The Lord is stirring up the hearts of many there, and there is a perfect mania with some to trace their genealogies and to get up printed records of their ancestors.  They do not know what they are doing it for, but the Lord is prompting them; and it will continue and run on from father to father, father to father, until they get the genealogy of their foregathers as far as they possibly can.

I am going to stop my talking by saying that, in the millennium, when the kingdom of God is established on the earth in power, glory and perfection, and the reign of wickedness that has so long prevailed is subdued, the Saints of God will have the privilege of building their temples, and of entering into them, becoming, as it were, pillars in the temples of God, and they will officiate for their dead.  Then we will see our friends come up, and perhaps some that we have been acquainted with here.  If we ask who will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation, the answer is–Joseph Smith, Junior, the Prophet of God.  He is the man who will be resurrected and receive the keys of the resurrection, and he will seal this authority upon others, and they will hunt up their friends and resurrect them when they shall have been officiated for, and bring them up.  And we will have revelations to know our forefathers clear back to Father Adam and Mother Eve, and we will enter into the temples of God and officiate for them.  Then man will be sealed to man until the chain is made perfect back to Adam, so that there will be a perfect chain of priesthood from Adam to the winding-up scene.

This will be the work of the Latter-day Saints in the millennium.  How much time do you suppose we have to attend to and foster Babylon?  I leave this question for you to answer at your pleasure.  I have no time at all for that, I say, and stop my sayings.”  (Brigham Young, 24 Aug., 1872; JD 15:137-139)

25 Aug.:  We have to build cities as well as temples.

“Look at the immense number of people who have lived on the earth since its creation!  In what relationship do we stand to them?  Who are they?  Our progenitors, and millions of them have died without the Gospel.  What an immense labor opens up before us when we think of these things!  Millions and hundreds of millions of men and women, just as good as we are, according to the knowledge they had, must be administered for by us, and we have to build temples in which the work for their redemption may be performed.  We have not only to build temples, but cities; we have to redeem the earth, and we have a vast amount of physical labor to do, that our progenitors did not have the privilege of doing, it was never offered to them, but it has been laid before us in plainness and simplicity.  We can understand the principle of baptism for the dead, it has been made plain to us, and administering it, and performing the various duties that will arise in building up the kingdom of God, will give us labor for centuries.  Can we, in view of these duties and responsibilities, be idle?  Can we fail to seek after the Spirit of God to guide us, that we may accomplish these labors?  If we do, we shall not only deprive ourselves of a great privilege and of great glory, but we shall deprive others, perhaps, to some extent, of receiving that which is theirs by right; they have lived for it, and they are entitled to it at our hands.”  (Brigham Young, 25 Aug., 1872; JD 15:143)

18 Sep.:  Joy in temple work.

“I Spent this day at the Baptismal Font, in the Endowment house assisting in confirming those who had been Baptized for their dead.  I never felt better in my life.  Such an holy, calm, peaceful influence prevaded the house and inmates, I felt as tho I could stay there all the time and work in such an holy cause.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 18 Sep., 1872)

3 Nov.:  Blood of Joseph and Hyrum on American people.

“Jos W Young spoke very clearly on the principle of justice, showing plainly that the Blood of Joseph and Hyrum Smith was upon the American People.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 3 Nov., 1872)

8 Dec.:  2nd anointing administered in Endowment House.

“I met with my prayer Circle in the forenoon & was in the Endowment House at 1 oclok & administered the 2d Anointing.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 8 Dec., 1872)

31 Dec.:  Synopsis of work in Endowment House.

“I spent 445 days in the Endowment House in Great Salt Lake City.  I Assisted in giving Endowments to 13,007 Persons.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, year-end entry, 1872)