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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1879

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1879.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1879.

1879:  1 Jan.:  Adoptions.

“I acted for Prest B. Young in the Stewart families adoption & the Sealing of their Mother to him and the children being sealed to them.   also acted for Jared Starr, in the adoption of his family.”  (J. D. T. McAllister diary, 1 Jan., 1879; Huntington Library)

1 Feb.:  Requirements for Temple recommend.

“Met again at 2 P.M. when I spoke for 1 1/2 hours  touched on Tithing assessments & payments  made full explanation thereof – sowing grain &c – use of Tabacco among our young also drinking Wine  councelled the Bps to work these matters to a test for Temple blessings & holding offices in the Priesthood.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 1 Feb., 1879)

6 Feb.:  Baptisms in Endowment House.

“Bishops’ meeting at Council House at 6:30 p.m.  Counselor L. W. Hardy presiding.  Notice was given and vote taken that the first Tuesday in each month was the only day for baptisms in the endowment house.”  (JH 6 Feb., 1879)

1 Mar.:  Woodruff had 154 dead single women sealed to him

“I had 154 dead women who died single sealed to me mostly of the Woodruff and Hart family.  This includes the year 1878, And on the 29 Jan 1879 I had 39 Dead single women of the Heart family Sealed to me And on the 1 day of March 1879 I had 74 single dead women sealed to me.  Total dead single women sealed 267.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 1834-1878 synopsis, following 1879 entries.)

2 Mar.:  Temple work in ancient days.

“At meeting in St. George Tabernacle Apostle Wilford Woodruff said that the responsibilities which rest upon the Latter-day Saints are not realized by them as they should be. . . .

We are not informed how much of this work was performed in the days of the ancient Apostles.  We have no record of any such work having been attended to by the Savior and His Apostles in the Temple at Jerusalem.  As that Temple was under the control of the wicked priests who aided in taking the life of the Son of God, the inference we are compelled to draw, is that the millions who had lived and died without the Gospel from the earliest days of this earth’s history, will have to be officiated for in these last days and during the Millennium.”  (JH 2 Mar., 1879)

1 Apr.:  A Temple Song.

“Joyfully, joyfully, now a song we sing,

Lifting up our hearts to God, our heavenly King;

While, with praise and gratitude, we banish all complaints,

For we realize that we are numbered with the Saints.


We wish to prove ourselves faithful and true,

Therefore our diligence we renew,

Working with our might, while firmly we unite,

Heart and hand, in Zion’s cause, doing what is right.

Thus agreed, with good speed, temples we will build,

That the living and the dead may with joy be filled.

Joyfully, joyfully, we each other greet,

When, in Sunday school, on Sabbath days we meet;

There we are instructed how to walk in wisdom’s ways;

Tis a tudy which devolves on Saints of latter days.

Joyfully, joyfully, we our offerings bring;

Aiding, by our means, to make these valleys ring

With the busy hum of those who work with strength and will,

Building temples of the Lord, according to His will.

Cordially, cordially, we will now invite

All who wish, with us, to help with means and might,

That the Manti Temple may, ere long, be made comlete,

Dedicated to the Lord, and used as shall be meet.”

(H. Maiben, “A Temple Song,’ JI 14(7):84, 1 Apr., 1879)

15 Apr.:  Endowment should be in stages.

“[Laying of Manti Temple cornerstones.]  President Taylor said he had thought it would be well to adopt another method than that which was now in vogue in the giving of Endowments, that it seemed that a great many people came to receive their endowments who did not fully comprehend the responsibility resting upon them and that it would be more proper to give them some of the first initiatory principles and then wait until they had fully proven themselves and had demonstrated that they were worthy of the whole.  The matter was left for future consideration.”  (JH 15 Apr., 1879)

23 Apr.:  Purpose of temples.

“The corner stones of another Temple to the Most High God have been laid by the leading authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  A very brief account of the ceremonies, received by Deseret Telegraph, will be found in another column.  We now have three Temples in process of construction, two of which are well advanced, and one completed and in working order.  This is exceedingly gratifying to the Saints in all the world, and causes joy in the regions of the departed.

These edifices are of paramount importance.  They are not designed, as some may suppose, for mere houses of public worship.  Our tabernacles and other meeting houses are erected for that purpose.  Temples are intended chiefly for the administration of ordinances and ceremonies which are necessary for the perfecting of the Saints, the uniting together of the living and the dead, the welding of the links that must join the different dispensations, the arrangement of the full order of the holy priesthood with all its keys, powers and administrations, the adoption and sealings pertaining to the eternal family relations, the preparation for the advent of the Redeemer and the permanent establishment of the Kingdom of God upon the face of this planet.  Each building when finished and dedicated will be indeed a House of the Lord, a portal to the higher spheres.”  (Editorial, “The Temples of the Lord,” DN 28(12):184, 23 Apr., 1879)

2 May:  Wells refused to testify regarding endowment.

“On Friday the 2nd inst., Counselor Daniel H. Wells was summoned before court, as a witness.  A number of questions were asked him in regard to the marriage of the accused, which he answered.  But when the prosecuting attorney sought to execute his boast by requiring Brother Wells to describe the dress worn by persons in the Endowment House and the sacred ceremonies of that house, which should be known only to the faithful Saints who are privileged to enter it, he respectfully but firmly declined to do so.  For this he was required to answer to the court on the following day, and show cause why he should not be committed for contempt.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 14(10):114, 15 May, 1879)

“On the 3rd of May, Daniel H. Wells, one of President Young’s counselors, was sent to the penitentiary for two days because he would not reveal the endowments and he was also fined $100.”  (Thomas Briggs diary, 3 May, 1879; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:295, 1960)

“Tuesday, May 6.  Attended a big demonstration in S. L. City in honor of the release of Counselor D. H. Wells from the penitentiary, where he had been confined two days and fined $100 for alleged contempt of court in not answering questions about portions of the dres worn in the Endowment House.  The people generally felt very indignant at the proceedings of Judge Emerson and Attorney Van Zile in the matter.  It was evidently a very prejudiced and partial ruling on the part of the Judge and the questions very irrelevant and improper on the part of the attorney.”  (Leonard E. Harrington Journal, 6 May, 1879; UHQ 8(1):55, Jan., 1940)

3 May:  Mode of dress within temples.

“The Contempt Case.–Our readers are already aware of what took place on Saturday afternoon, in regard to the contempt matter against President D. H. Wells.  At 7 o’clock in the evening the matter was resumed.  The following affidavie of the defendant was filed:

In the Third Judicial District Court of Utah Territory.

The People vs. Daniel H. Wells.

Daniel H. Wells, being duly sworn, says:  In respect to the charge of contempt now pending against me for refusing to answer the two questions relating to the apron and slippers of persons going through the ceremony of the Endowment House of the Mormon Church, I meant no disrespect to this court.  I declined wholly upon conscientious grounds.  I was willing to testify to any material fact not covered by any previous obligation, and had I been interrogated while on the witness stand to elicit these facts, I should have stated, and the truth is, that persons going through such ceremonies wear special garments, and these are precisely the same whether the wearer in the course of those ceremonies is united in marriage, plural or otherwise, or not, and those married are not distinguished by any difference of dress from those who do not enter into the marriage relation.

Daniel H. Wells.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 3rd day of May, 1879.

C. S. Hill, Clerk.

By B. P. Hill, Deputy Clerk.

Judge Sutherland then made an able address in which he showed that although courts had the power to compel a witness to answer, and to treat as contempt a refusal to answer, and though it was left to the discretion of the judge as to what answers should or should not be required, still all refusals were not of equal gravity.  The questions put to Mr. Wells, as shown in the affidavit, were wholly immaterial to the prosecution, and were therefore unimportant.  They required him to divulge secrets against which he was bound by what he deemed a sacred obligation.  The same delicate consideration was due for what he religiously cherished as a secret from the uninitiated, and was due to all other private and sacred affairs not within the proper scope of the judicial inquiry.  He then reviewed the questions which the defendant declined to answer, showing their irrelevancy and unimportance to the prosecution, and that as the jury were not deprived of any important facts thereby, a nominal punishment ought to suffice to preserve the dignity of the Court.

Judge Van Zile, not wishing to discuss the question further, Judge Emerson spoke his mind.

The question was not a personal one between the defendant and himself, but between the defendant and the court as a representative.  General Wells had defied the mandate of the court, and it was necessary that the supremacy of the law should be maintained.  The question of the materiality of the question as he had previously stated was closed, and did not enter into this matter, but he was even now more firmly convinced than before that the question was a material one.  The law as to what should constitute a contempt could not be expressed with more force or propriety than it had been by counsel for the defendant.  Though it was a very disagreeable duty, it was nevertheless incumbent upon the court to see that the orders of the court were respected as they should be.  He, therefore ordered that the defendant pay a fine of $100 and be confined for a period of two days.

President Wells was then placed in the custody of the Marshal, who took him out to the Penitentiary.”  (Reprint of report of 5 May; DN 28(14):213, 7 May, 1879)

4 May:  Reminiscence of Kirtland endowment.

“At night went to ward meeting.  Br Harrison Burgess spoke of the first Endowments given in the Kirtland Temple and that all the quorums met at one time in the Attic; Joseph and Hyrum met with them.  He said that all at once there was a Heavenly and Divine Atmosphere surrounded them, and it seemed as if the rafters and Beams were all gone and Joseph gazing up said, I See the Son of God sitting at the right hand of the Father.  Hyrum at the same instant said, I behold the Angels of Heaven, and Roger Orton said, I see the Horses and Chariots of Heaven.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 4 May, 1879)

7 May:  Order of laying temple cornerstones.

“A few general remarks on the principle governing the order to be observed in building Temples are offered at the present time, that the officers and members of the Church generally may learn correct doctrine, and not be misled by any apparent difference which appears in the order observed in laying the cornerstones of different temples at different times.

For example: It will be seen by reference to the minutes of the general conference, held in Salt Lake City, April 6th, 1853, (published in the DESERET NEWS, at the time, and in the MILLENNIAL STAR of July 16th and 23rd, of that year,) that the order observed in forming the procession and in laying the corner stones of the Temple in Salt Lake City, as dictated by President Brigham Young, was as follows, viz:

First, after the bands, choir, guards, etc., came the First Presidency of the Church, who laid the South East corner stone, assisted by the aged Patriarch John Smith; and next in order was the South West corner, which stone was laid by Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter, his Counsel and the various presidencies of the Lesser Priesthood and their associates; after which the third or North West corner stone was laid by John Young, president of the High Priests’ Quorum, with his counsel and the President of the Stake, with the High Council; and lastly, the fourth or North East corner was laid by the Twelve Apostles, assisted by the presidency of the Seventies and of the Elders’ Quorum.  But the account given in the History of Joseph Smith (MILLENNIAL STAR, vol. 18, page 470) of the order observed in laying the corners of the Nauvoo Temple is as follows, viz:

The Architect then, by the direction of the First Presidency lowered the first (S.E. corner) stone to its place, and President Joseph Smith pronounced the benediction as follows:–‘This principal corner stone, in representation of the First presidency, is now duly laid in honor of the Great God; and may it there remain until the whole fabric is completed; and may the same be accomplished speedily, that the Saints may have a place to worship God, and the Son of Man have where to lay his head.’  Next the South West corner stone, by the direction of the President of the High Priesthood with the Council and President Marks (of the Nauvoo Stake) was lowered to its place.  The third (N. W. corner) was laid under the superintendency of the High Council of the Stake; and the fourth (N. E. corner) by the Bishops.

This is supplemented with the following explanations or items of instuction by the Prophet Joseph:

If the strict order of the Priesthood were carried out in the building of temples, the first stone will be laid at the south-east corner by the First Presidency of the Church.  The south-west corner should be laid next.  The third or north-west corner next; and the fourth or north-east corner, the last.  The First Presidency should lay the south-east corner stone, and dictate who are the proper persons to lay the other corner stones.  If a temple is built at a distance, and the First Presidency are not present, then the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are the persons to dictate the order for that temple; and in the absence of the Twelve Apostles, then the presidency of the Stake will lay the south east corner stone, the Melchisedeck Priesthood laying the corner stones on the east side of the Temple, and the Lesser Priesthood those on the west side.

The foregiong examples and instructions clearly indicate two things:

First, that the order of laying corner stones is from the east to the west, beginning at the southeast corner.

Second, that the principal or chief corner is laid by the highest authorities of the Church present; and if it be the First Presidency or Twelve Apostles, they dictate who of the other authorities present, shall lay the other corner-stones; but if neither of these are present, then the Stake presidency lay the principal corner (S. E.) and other authorities of the Melchisedek Priesthood the northeast, while the bishops lay the southwest, and their assistants of the Lesser Priesthood the north west, in the order from east to west and as above stated.

After the first or southeast corner stone is laid, if the First Presidency or Twelve is present, they dictate who lay the others.  But if these two quorums are absent, then the presidency of the Stake have no discretion; the stones must be laid according to the rule laid down, namely, the Melchisedek Priesthood must lay the corner stones on the east side of the Temple, and the Lesser Priesthood those on the west side, as these officers are local.

John Taylor,

In behalf of the Twelve Apostles.”

(Editorial, “The Order of Laying Temple Corner Stones,” John Taylor, in behalf of the Twelve Apostles; DN 28(14):214, 7 May, 1879)

7 May:  D. H. Wells and not revealing temple ceremonies.

“This morning, Counselor Daniel H. Wells was placed in custody of the United States Marshal by Judge P. H. Emerson, who adjudged him in contempt because he declined to answer questions propounded by District Attorney P. T. Van Zile, in relation to the secret religious ceremonies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He is to appear before the Court at 10 o’clock to-morrow morning, to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt.  Meanwhile he is at liberty on parole.

Last October, when the Miles case was before Commissioner Sprague, the District Attorney made the boast that he would yet cause all the rites of the Endowment House to be exposed in open court.  He made one step towards the accomplishment of that boast this morning.  That is, he attempted to do so.  But he did not succeed very well.  Counsellor Wells declined to answer the questions, because he considered himself under obligations not to do so, and that the Attorney had no right to ask them.  We commend the course of the witness.  He has manifested his perfect willingness to impart all the information at his command on matters relevant to the case.  But when interrogated in regard to the dress worn in the sacred rites of the Endowment House he declined to answer.  He informed the Court that the same dress was worn in the ceremonies of that House when marriage was not solemnized as when that ordinance was administered.  But when questioned as to its peculiarities, shape, style, etc., he very properly refused to gratify the attorney’s impertinent curiosity.

We claim the same right to perform our ordinances in secret as the Masons, Odd Fellows, Sons of Temperance, or any other Order of Brotherhood, and also to preserve inviolate every agreement not to divulge them to the world.  The District Attorney has no more right to put a witness on the rack to extort from him ‘Mormon’ secrets, than to elicit Masonic secrets.  His object is to establish a certain marriage alleged to have been performed.  The witness told him enough to make clear the poit that a description of the dress desired would not aid him in his case, because the fact of an individual appearing in that garb would be no evidence that he or she had been engaged in a marriage ceremony, seeing that it was worn alike by parties to that ceremony and by others not participants therein.

It is time that this impudent and boastful attempt to pry into affairs that only concern the individuals who attend to them, and the Church of which they are members, received and effectual check.  We hope that every person who is questioned as was Counselor Wells, will exhibit the same amount of honor and back-bone as he has done.  ‘It is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong.’  Not always will these outrages be permitted.  We would much rather be in the place of the man committed to jail for refusing to divulge sacred secrets, than in his who commits him.  We would prefer risking the chances for this world, to say nothing of the world to come, when justice will rule and the measure meted out will be measured back with interest.  A Mason who revealed the secrets of his Order, would be an object of scorn and contempt, not only to his betrayed brethren, but to every honorable minded non-Mason.  So, a ‘Mormon’ who exposes in public what he is sacredly enjoined to keep private, is unworthy of the respect and confidence of a decent person of any shade of belief or disbelief.

And this attempt to force a witness to explain in court religious rites which, besides being secret to his Church, are irrelevant to the cause at issue, will be, or ought to be, denounced by every fair minded person and paper in the civilized world.  The attorneys who badger ‘Mormon’ witnesses seem to think that they have the right to make a witness answer in a way to suit the interrogators.  If he fails to do this they are angry, and if he does not happen to know anything of the matter in hand his lack of knowledge is put down as perjury.  We protest against this unfair and unjust course towards men and women who are as anxious to be truthful and honest in their statements, whether on oath or otherwise, as any persons on earth.  Witnesses are not required to testify of anything but what they know.  Their opinion, or something they may have heard by rumor is not evidence.  And no attorney or private individual is justified, morally or legally, in making insinuations against their veracity, because they speak only of the things they know and testify but of that which they have seen.  Much less has an attorney the right to put on the thumbscrews of the law, and try to wring from a witness secrets which have no bearing upon the case, and which the latter considers himself under sacred obligations to keep locked up in his own bosom.

It is claimed that ‘Mormons’ are under ‘terrible oaths’ in regard to these secret ordinances.  If this is true, why should officers of the law try to make ‘Mormons’ break such engagements and thus become perjurers, and when they do not answer to suit their inquisitors accuse them of perjury?  We protest against this course as an outrage against common decency, an insult to honorable men and women who desire to respect Constitutional law, and a violation of long established rules of jurisprudence.  The reign of those who commit themselves in this fashion will be cut short in righteousness, as sure as Justice lives.”  (Editorial, “The Thumb-Screws of the Law,” DN 28(14):216, 7 May, 1879)

“This morning, according to the order of the Third District Court, the case of Counselor Daniel H. Wells was postponed till 2 p.m.

At that time Counselor Wells appeared in court with his counsel, J. G. Sutherland, Esq.

Judge Emerson stopped the progress of the Miles case and gave Counselor Wells an opportunity to purge himself of the contempt in which he placed himself yesterday.  Thereupon that gentleman took the witness stand, stating that he would try to answer the questions if possible.

The court reporter read the question, Do the candidates for marriage wear a green apron at that time?

Answer.  At what time?  I have performed that ceremony without such attire, at the bedside of the dying.

Question by Attorney Van Zile.  Do they wear a green apron at marriages in the Endowment House.

Mr. Hagan here objected to the introduction of testimony relating to the Miles case as the prosecution had closed its evidence, and wished to know whether the witness was being examined on the matter of contempt or in regard to the case for which he was one of the attorneys for the defense.

The Court replied ‘both.’

The defense objected and the Court overruled the objection.

The question was again put, when the witness declined to answer, stating that he was under a sacred obligation to preserve secret the things he was now required to reveal.

Attorney Van Zile–Then we are to understand that you have taken an oath not to reveal what takes place in the Endowment House?

Witness.  I did not say so.  I said a sacred obligation.  I consider it as sacred as any oath taken in a court of justice.

The Court said the witness had not purged himself of contempt but was again in contempt.

Witness.  I consider any person who reveals the sacred ceremonies of the Endowment House a falsifier and a perjurer and it has been and is a principle of my life never to betray a friend, my religion, my country or my God.  It seems to me that this is sufficient reason why I should not be held in contempt.

The Court then explained that this was no legal reason why the question which had been declared relevant should not be answered, and though not disposed to be vindictive or severed, the dignity of the court must be maintained; and was about to pronounce sentence, when Judge Sutherland interposed and requested time to prepare an argument on the case, to which the Court at length consented, and fixed the time for the hearing at 7 o’clock this evening.”  (Editorial, “The Case of ‘Contempt’,” DN 28(14):216-217, 7 May, 1879)

“On Saturday evening Counsellor Daniel H. Wells was sentenced by Judge P. H. Emerson, temporarily presiding in the Third District Court, to pay a fine of one hundred dollars and to be imprisoned for two days, the offense alleged against him being contempt of court, in not answering certain questions asked by District Attorney P. T. Van Zile, in the Miles case.  He was taken at once by Marshal Shaughnessy to the penitentiary, where a room was allotted to him, and he was treated with kindness.

The consignment of this honorable and venerable gentleman to a prison designed only for felons and criminals of the deepest dye, is generally viewed as an infamous outrage.  Jew, ‘Gentile’ and ‘Mormon,’ so far as we have heard, unite in feelings of indignation at this perversion of justice and tyrannical exercise of judicial power.

The witness did not act in a contemptuous manner.  The Court was not injured or insulted, neither was its dignity assailed.  The questions asked were not only unnecessary for the purposes of justice, but were impertinent and prompted by prying curiosity and in fulfilment of a boast previously made by the interrogator.  The witness was under a religious obligation, which was to him as sacred as anything could be under heaven, to preserve secret the things he was asked to divulge.  Supposing that the court considered the witness wrong in declining to answer the questions propounded, all the circumstances being considered, a simple fine of small amount would have vindicated the alleged rights of the Court and amply supported its dignity.

But we dispute the right of the Attorney to ask any such questions as those which he put to the witness.  They related to a dress said to be worn in certain secret religious ceremonies concerning only the initiated.  The object in view was to prove the marriage of the defendant in the case with Emily Spencer.  The prosecution expected to prove and did offer as evidence by the chief witness, who was ready and willing, and apparently anxious to tell what she knew and much more about the ceremonies she had agreed to keep secret, that Emily Spencer was in the Endowment House on a specified day clothed in the dress referred to.  But it was shown that this dress was not peculiar to nor the sign of a marriage ceremony, because it was worn on other occasions, and at other ceremonies besides marriage.  Further, the witness held as in contempt stated that marraiges were sometimes solemnized without the dress referred to.  But the District Attorney was determined, if possible, to force the witness to break his sacred obligation and render himself contemptible in his own eyes and in the estimation of his religious associates.  In this course he was sustained by the Court and, failing to accomplish what had been boasted would be done, malice suggested the punishment that was inflicted.

Supposing a man was killed in a Masonic Lodge, either by accident or design, and a member of the Order was on trial for homicide; would it be necessary for the prosecuting attorney to ask a witness to describe the cut and color of the aprons worn or the form of the insignia used in the ceremonies?  And if he were to ask, would a true Mason answer as required?  Would he not prefer to keep his obligation to the Order, rather than that which an impertinent and browbeating attorney chose to consider was his obligation to the law?  And if the witness declined to answer such questions, is there a judge in the United States who would dare to send him to a prison erected only for the worst of criminals?

If these cases are not strictly parallel, the advantage is on the side of President Wells and the sacred cause which he represented in court, for he was under obligations to the Most High God, the Grand Master, Chief Architect and Supreme Ruler of the Universe, to keep in his own bosom the secret things that belong to God.  There is no truly honorable man or woman who will not respect General Wells for his course on that trial, nor fail to condemn the prying attorney and the despotic judge.

They are egregiously mistaken if they imagine that they have succeeded in exposing in public the sacred ordinances of the Church, intended only to be private.  They are no nearer to the understanding of them now than they were before the answers of the too willing witness.  But there is a way by which they can learn all these things, and we will now put them on the track of the information.  Let them repent of all their sins against God and humanity, and humble themselves in the depths of contrition, having faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ, let them receive baptism at the hands of an authorized servant of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands of appointed ministers; then by manifesting fruits mete for repentance and the features of a truly Christian character, they can be admitted to the House of the Lord, where the rites and ceremonies and keys and covenants of the everlasting priesthood are administered in their true order, for the understanding of those who have eyes to see and ears to hear and minds to comprehend.  But without this, we are of the firm opinion that they will never learn them as they are, even if they press into their service and bring into court every apostate who is willing to violate his solemn obligations.

If the court or its officers imagine that by this fine and imprisonment they can terrorize the ‘Mormons’ into revealing anything which belongs only to the secret sacred rites of our Church, we can assert in the most positive manner, that they have made a great mistake.  Pains, penalties and death are nothing when weighed against dishonor, and the whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is ONE with Brother Daniel H. Wells in a determination to obey God rather than man.  For while wholesome law must be obeyed and the constituted authorities of the government must be respected, the sacred rights of religious liberty must also be maintained, no matter what may be the cost or the consequences.”  (Editorial, “One More Judicial Outrage,” DN 28(14):217, 7 May, 1879)

“The whole community, with very few exceptions, having been stirred to profound sympathy and respect for President Daniel H. Wells, who has been, as they consider, unjustly fined and imprisoned, simply for refusing to answer irrelevant and impertinent questions concerning certain sacred ceremonies of his religion, a general desire has been manifested to demonstrate to him their admiration of his course, and their esteem, affection and support.  A public reception is therefore being prepared, to welcome that gentleman to his home after his incarceration.

At a large meeting held in the Council House yesterday, after the services in the Tabernacle, the following committees were appointed to arrange the proceedings: . . .”  (DN 28(14):217, 7 May, 1879)

“Following are Thursday’s [1 May] proceedings in the Miles polygamy case . . .

Daniel H. Wells testified that he was acquainted with John Miles; did not remember having seen John Miles or Emily Spencer at the Endowment House on the first Thursday previous to the defendant’s examination before Commissioner Sprague.  He believed that he had performed marriage ceremonies on that day.  {Several questions were then asked the witness leading to the manner of performing ceremonies.}  It is the custom at the Endowment House for people being married to wear endowment robes at the marriage.  The ladies wear caps different from those worn by the gentlemen.  The witness declined to answer question with regard to the dress of candidates.  The Court instructed the witness with regard to his privileges, and the grounds upon which he might refuse to answer.  As he still declined to answer and the prosecution insisted on the question, the court committed the witness to the care of the marshal.  The order was, however, rescinded that the examination might proceed.

The re-direct and cross-examinations were then concluded; and as the witness persisted in his refusal, an order was entered that he be committed to the care of the marshal to appear before court, Saturday morning at 10 o’clock, and show cause why he should not be punished for contempt.”  (DN 28(14):220, 7 May, 1879)

“Following are Thursday’s [1 May] proceedings in the Miles polygamy case . . .

Witness [Carrie Owen] afterwards went to St. George with Miles, who frequently told her that she was only his second wife, while Emily was his first wife; and that when his trial was over he intended to marry Julia; and that wientss could tell the damned lawyers in Salt Lake all about it.  She did not live with Miles at St. George.  When at the Endowment House, she had seen Emily Spencer wearing the usual marriage dress–robe, cap, apron and moccasins.  Emily had previously had her endowments at St. George.  Witness took hers that day; and after that Miles took her by the hand and their names were registered; Daniel H. Wells performed the ceremony, and when Miles and witness were kneeling at the altar, he told defendant that his first wife shouild be present.  After leaving the House at 3:30 o’clock, witness went with Miles to Angus Cannon’s.  Witness said that when parties went into the Endowment House, they were sworn never to reveal anything that was said or done.”  (DN 28(14):220, 7 May, 1879)




The hastily prepared demonstration in honor of Counselor Daniel H. Wells was eminently successful.  Early yesterday morning the Stars and Stripes were run up to the top of the flag-staffs on the City Hall, the County Court House, the Tabernacle, the Temple, the Theatre, Z.C.M.I., the President’s Office and a large number of business houses and private dwellings. . . .”  (DN 28(15):232, 14 May, 1879)

21 May:  Description of St. George Temple rooms.

“The following memoranda of the building of the Temple at St. George, are kindly furnished by Chief Mason E. L. Parry:

. . . .

There are 11 rooms in the basement.  The first main room above the basement is 78 x 99 feet, the ceiling is elliptic, the centre of the ceiling being 27 feet from the main floor.  On each side of the upper part of the main room 18 feet from the floor, are eight rooms, each 11 feet 6 inches by 13 feet 4 inches and 10 feet high.  The second main and side rooms are duplicates of the first.”  (DN 28(16):247, 21 May, 1879)

29 May:  Revelation on baptism for dead.

“A Bishops meeting was held in the Council house at 7 p.m. Bishop Edward Hunter presiding. . . .

Bishop Hunter said after he had been in the Church about two years, he was with Joseph Smith while he received the revelation on baptism for the dead.  Brother William Clayton was there as his scribe.  It was a solemn occasion.  Great stress was laid on keeping correct records.”  (JH 29 May, 1879)

26 Jun.:  42 dead single women sealed to me.

“Early morn at the Temple.  Matilda with me.  42 dead single women sealed to me.”  (J. D. T. McAllister diary, 26 Jun., 1879; Huntington Library)

28 Jun.:  Sealed up unto Eternal Life.

” . . .I seal you up unto eternal life for you shall enter into the holy order have power to obtain celestial blessings by keeping celestial laws which through faith God will give you power grace wisdom to obtain.  I seal upon you a holy resureaction and the blessings of eternal lifes with endles glory forever and ever in the name of Jesus.  Amen.”  (Patriarchal Blessing of Emily Stevenson, given by William J. Smith, Patriarch, 28 Jun., 1879; LDS Archives, Ms d 4806 Bx 11 fd 4)

Jul.:  Brigham changed baptisms for the dead.

“We see a change in the ordinance of baptism for the dead, which B. Young made.  Is he justified in this?  Let us see.  This order was revealed to Joseph in September, 1842.  We were an eye witness of many being baptized for their dead, a man being baptized for both sexes, and a woman the same.  And up to a certain time when Joseph declared on the stand, ‘If ever the Lord spake by my mouth, your baptisms for your dead are no longer acceptable in the river.’  This language means that up to that time it was acceptable.  We are very familiar with B. Young’s change in this, that men only should be baptized for the males, and only women for females, and that any other way from that would not be doing right.  Is this not a change?  We think so.

This change was made soon after Joseph’s death, by Brigham Young, in a sermon on baptism for the dead.  He used argument, but God had accepted what was done up to the time referred to.”  (John Hawley, “To the Utah Saints,” The Saints’ Advocate 2(1):2, Jul., 1879)

31 Aug.:  Change in architecture of Logan Temple.

“I speak of this as one of those things in connection with the holy priesthood, and with the building of this sacred edifice that we are erecting to the name of the Lord.  We found that a slight change had been made from the original plan, which however is not material, and there will no difficulty arise therefrom.  I thought I would mention this because people generally like to understand things as they exist.  It is much better to tell things right out as they are than to hear of whisperings about this and the other thing, which in many instances are incorrect.”  (John Taylor, 31 Aug., 1879; JD 21:1)

22 Sep.:  Aftermath of 2nd anointing?

“Monday 22 September 1879 the eavening of the fifty second aniversary of the Angel deliviring of the Plates of the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith the Propit of the Lord, I dedicated the house and room also blest the Oil after which my Ruth Anointed my feet and wiped them with the hair of her head, then kissed then [them] after the patern as written in the Testament of the Lord Jesus.”  (Journal of Samuel Hollister Rogers, vol. II, p. 78, BYU Special Collections, MSS 1134)

1 Oct.:  “Examination” of the Endowment House.

“The Washington correspondent of the New York Herald appears to be keenly on the alert for items about the ‘Mormons.’  In a dispatch which was printed in last evening’s NEWS, some work is laid out for the next grand jury of this district.  ‘One of the first duties to be presented to the grand jury,’ says the correspondent, is ‘an examination of the Endowment House.’

How very curious official people appear to be about the Endowment House!  And how anxious some of them are to strain and stretch the law so as to reach ‘Mormon’ affairs to which the law does not apply.  Counselor Wells was imprisoned in the penitentiary because he would not gratify the impertinent curiosity of a boastful attorney, nor yield to the dictum of an arbitrary judge, and disclose matters pertaining to that House with which neither the Court nor the case before it had anything to do.  His incarceration did him no harm, but exposed his persecutors to the scorn and contempt of reflecting people throughout the country.

Now, it appears, a new attempt is to be made in the same direction.  But what right has the grand jury to make ‘an examination of the Endowment House?’  None whatever in reason, none whatever in law.  Grand juries in this district lately have greatly exceeded their legitimate powers, and have attempted to regulate and ‘reform’ all kinds of things from book-keeping to the building of colleges, and from sanitary arrangements and smells to the affairs of courts and counties.  But they will have to stop somewhere.  And we are of the opinion that they will draw the line, if nowhere else, at the pint which the Herald correspondent intimates they will step over.  If common sense and the limits of the law do not restrain them from prying intrusion into places and affairs with which they have no business, we have reason to believe that other powers will interpose to prevent their going too far.

The Latter-day Saints have patiently yielded to many encroachments upon their rights and privileges.  They have borne that which no other people would have endured without forcible resentment.  But, as we have gently intimated on a previous occasion, there are bounds even to their endurance.  We do not believe it would greatly conduce to the health of a grand juryman or any other person, official or unofficial, to attempt to force his way into the House dedicated and consecrated by the Saints for private religious ceremonies.  And we frankly confess that we would not counsel the thousands of determined people who would rise in a body to repel such an invasion of their rights, to hold back or tamely submit to such an outrage.

The powers of grand juries in Utah are sharply defined in the laws.  The following, from the Poland bill, shows their extent:

The grand jury must inquire into the case of every person imprisoned within the district on a criminal charge and not indicted; into the condition and management of the public prisons within the district; and into the wilful, corrupt misconduct in office of public officers of every description within the district; and they are also entitled to free access, at all reasonable times, to the public prisons, and to the examination, without charge, of all public records within the district.

There is nothing in the above on which the slightest pretext can be made for the intrusion of the grand jury into a House dedicated to the solemnization of religious rites.  And we do not believe that an attempt of that character, backed up by any kind or extent of pretended authority, would prove successful.  Further, we are certain that if such a thing could be accomplished, the intruders would find themselves rewarded for their pains with the sight of the emptiest kind of a mare’s nest.  If all the grand juries that ever made themselves ridiculous by absurd ‘reports,’ were to examine every nook and corner of the House which excites so much curiosity, they would come out no wiser than they went in, with the exception of the knowledge that they had made fools of themselves by hunting for something that had no existence.  But though ‘Mormonism’ or its marriage system would neither be in the least degree affected by a public examination of the Endowment House, for all that it belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; is not a public place, but is held sacred for ceremonial purposes; and if we know anything of the feelings, determination and ability of the ‘Mormon’ people, we are satisfied that they would stand up as a unit in defence of the rights which would be involved in any such high handed proceeding as suggested in the dispatch from Washington.  ‘Go slow’ will be found a safe motto in this connection.”  (Editorial, “‘Examination’ of the Endowment House,” DN 28(35):552, 1 Oct., 1879)

7 Oct.:  Temple work for the whole world.

“For this purpose we are gathered together, for this purpose we are building Temples according to the order and revelations of God–for until He revealed these things to us we knew nothing about them.  And the world of mankind to-day know nothing about Temples and their uses.  If we were to build Temples for them according to the order of God, they would not know how to administer in them; neither could we know had the Lord not revealed to us how to do it, which he did through the Prophet Joseph.  We are acting upon this revealed knowledge to-day, seeking to carry out the will, the designs and the purposes of God, in the interest of common humanity, not for a few people only, not for the people of the United States only, nor for those of two or three nations, but for the people of the whole world.  And the hearts of the people are being drawn after these principles; or, in other words, the hearts of the children are being turned towards the fathers, as well as the hearts of the fathers towards the children.”  (John Taylor, 7 Oct., 1879; JD 21:374)

15 Oct.:  Rationale for secrecy of endowment ceremony.

“Our enemies make a great ado about the Latter-day Saints building temples, because, they say, and truly, too, that in them we perform ordinances not practiced before the world.  The Free Masons, Odd Fellows and others can have their secret lodges, the Methodists their secret class meetings, and the Catholics their secret confessions, and all seems to be right, but the ‘Mormons’ must cast their pearls before the swine of a wicked world, or the cry of treason, and every other crime of which their enemies are guilty, is charged against them.

The Lord has some things that have been concealed from the foundation of the world to be revealed ‘in the dispensation of the fullness of times.’  Revealed to whom?  Why, to His prophets, as His servant Amos says:  ‘Surely the Lord will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.’  Jesus said, ‘I thank thee, O Father of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes.’  Jesus taught many things to His disciples that He did not teach to the world; and when they asked Him why He did so, He answered, ‘Because to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, but to them it is not given.’

In the fourth chapter of Micah, that prophet speaks of the house of the Lord being built in the tops of the mountains, in the last days, and adds further that ‘many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the montain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’

Now if there were not things to be taught in that house that could not be taught to the outside world, what would be the use of going there to be taught in the ways of the Lord?  What! shall we be taught not only dictrines but also the ‘ways of the Lord’ in the temples?  His manner of doing things?  Daniel says, ‘the wise shall understand, but none of the wicked shall understand.’

Well, then, the Saints are to know things that the world do not know, and those things are the secrets the Lord has and will reveal ‘to his servants the prophets;’ and those are the things, spoken of by Micah, to be learned in the Lord’s house, or houses, in the last days.  These things are what I alluded to, in a previous chapter, as ‘the secrets of the order.'”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 14(20):231, 15 Oct., 1879)

18 Oct.:  Resumption of full schedule for Endowment house.

“To give endowments to young people desireous of being married according to the law of God . . . To give endowments to the very aged and infirm people . . . For all Sealings according to the law of God, except for Sealings for the dead . . .”  (Joseph F. Smith to area Bishops, 18 Oct., 1879.  Endowment House Collection, LDS Archives)

23 Oct.:  Endowment House resumes full schedule.

(See 18 Oct. entry)

26 Oct.:  Design of the Jackson County Temple.

“We went there [Jackson County] because the Lord told us to go.  We settled upon the very spot where the Lord commanded us.  We commenced to lay the foundation of a temple about three-quarters of a mile from Independence, Jackson County, Missouri.  It was then a wilderness, with large trees on the temple block.  I visited that place 47 years afterwards, namely, a year ago last September, and not a tree was to be found on that temple block–not so much as a stump–everything seemed to be cleared off, and one would scarcely know, unless very well acquainted with the ground, where the temple site was located.  There, however, we expect to build a temple different from all other temples in some respects.  It will be built much larger, cover a larger area of ground, far larger than this Tabernacle covers, and this Tabernacle will accommodate from 12,000 to 15,000 people.  We expect to build a temple much larger, very much larger, according to the revelation God gave to us forty years ago in regard to that temple.  But you may ask in what form will it be built?  Will it be built in one large room, like this Tabernacle?  No; there will be 24 different compartments in the Temple that will be built in Jackson County.  The names of these compartments were given to us some 45 or 46 years ago; the names we still have, and when we build these 24 rooms, in a circular form and arched over the centre, we shall give the names to all these different compartments just as the Lord specified through Joseph Smith.  Now, our enemies do not believe one word of this.  They think we are enthusiastic, they think that this is all nonsense, and I do not know but there may be some of the Latter-day Saints that begin to partake of the same spirit, owing to their assimilating themselves so much to the fashion  of the world, that they have lost their strong and powerful faith in that which God has predicted by the mouth of his servants.  Perhaps you may ask for what purpose these 24 compartments are to be built.  I answer not to assemble the outside world in, nor to assemble the Saints all in one place, but these buildings will be built with a special view to the different orders, or in other words the different quorums or councils of the two Priesthoods that God has ordained on the earth.  That is the object of having 24 rooms so that each of these different quorums, whether they be High Priests or Seventies, or Elders, or Bishops, or lesser Priesthood, or Teachers, or Deacons, or Patriarchs, or Apostles, or High Councils, or whatever may be the duties that are assigned to them, they will have rooms in the Temple of the Most High God, adapted, set apart, constructed, and dedicated for this special purpose.  Now, I have not only told you that we shall have these rooms, but I have told you the object of these rooms in short, not in full.  But will there be any other buildings excepting those 24 rooms that are all joined together in a circular form and arched over the center–are there any other rooms that will be built–detached from the Temple?  Yes.  There will be tabernacles, there will be meeting houses for the assembling of the people on the Sabbath day.  There will be various places of meeting so that the people may gather together; but the Temple will be dedicated to the Priesthood of the Most High God, and for most sacred and holy purposes.  Then you see that, notwithstanding all these Temples that are now building in this Territory, and those that have been built before we came here in Kirtland and Nauvoo, the Lord is not confined to an exact pattern in relation to these Temples building in the different Stakes any more than He is confined in the creation of worlds to make them all of the same size.  He does not make them all of one size, nor does He set them rolling on their axes in the same plane, nor does He construct any in many respects alike; there is variation as much as there is in the human form.  Take men and women.  There are general outlines that are common to all, but did you ever see two faces alike among all the millions of the human family?  What a great variety, and yet all are constructed in general outline alike–after the image of God.  So in regard to the building of Temples.  The Lord will not confine Himself to aany one special method to be so many feet long, so many feet wide, and so many places for the Priesthood to stand, but He will construct His Temples in a great variety of ways, and by and by, when the more perfect order shall exist we shall construct them, through the aid of revelation, in accordance with the Temples that exist in yonder heaven.  And when I speak of yonder heaven I do not refer to that kind of heaven the sectarian world sings about, beyond the bounds of time and space.  I have no reference to any heaven beyond space, but I have reference to the heaven that the Lord has sanctified and made heaven in other worlds that he has created, consisting of all kinds of materials the same as our world is, and when this world passes through its various ordeals, it, too, by and by, will pass away and die like the body of man and be resuscitated again, a new heaven and a new earth, eternal in its nature.  The new worlds that are thus constructed and quickened by the fullness of the celestial glory will be the heavens where the Gods will dwell, or in other words, those that are made like unto God, when their bodies are changed in all respects like unto His glorious body, changed from materiality and cleansed from sin and redeemed, they will then be immortal and dwell in a heavenly world.  Now, in this world there will be Temples, and these Temples will be constructed according to the most perfect law of the celestial kingdom, for the world in which they are built or in which they stand will be a celestial body.  This last Temple that I am speaking of, or this last one to be built in Jackson County, Missouri, will be constructed after that heavenly pattern in all particulars.  Why?  Because it will never perish, it will exist for ever.  ‘What!  Do you mean to say,’ says one, ‘that the materials of that temple will not wear?’  ‘Do you mean to say,’ some of you may inquire in your hearts, ‘that age will have no effect upon the walls and the materials of that temple?’  That is what I mean–I mean to say that not only the Temple, but all the buildings that shall be built round about that Temple, and the city that will be built round about it, which will be called the New Jerusalem, will be built of materials that never will decay.  ‘But,’ says one, ‘that will be contrary to the laws of nature.’  You may cite me to some of the buildings that existed before Christ that were built out of the most durable materials that could be found, and yet when the storms of hail, rain and snow came, these buildings began to waste away until they could scarcely be recognized.  Well, I do not ask you to think that this temple and the city round about it will defy the rough hand of time and the work of the elements of our globe, and exist for ever, so far as natural laws are concerned; but there is a principle higher than these natural laws.  Did you never think of it–a high principle, a higher kingdon that governs all these laws of nature, such as you and I have been accustomed to understand ever since our youth.  I say there is a higher law, a controlling power over all the laws of nature, that will prevent these buildings from decaying; and I wish while dwelling upon this subject to say a little about another subject; that is, the building up of Palestine with the new Jerusalem.  It will be the old Jerusalem rebuilt upon its former site.  Now, will that city ever be destroyed, will it ever decay?  Will the Temple to be built in Palestine ever be thrown down or ever be furrowed with hail, rain, snow and frost–will these ever have any effect upon it?  No, not in the least.  Why?  Because God will be there.  So He will be in the temple of Zion on this continent, and by His power, by His laws–which are superior to all those grosser laws of nature–He will preserve both of these cities, one on the western hemisphere, and one on the eastern hemisphere, from any decay whatever.  Now, we have it recorded here in this book, in the 31st chapter of Jeremiah, that this city on the eastern continent shall not be thrown down any more forever.  It seems, therefore, to be an eternal city, never to be destroyed.  ‘But,’ says one, ‘I cannot believe that; I cannot believe but what these cities will be subject, just as much as anything else to decay.’  Do you believe this good book–the Bible?  If you do, you are obliged to believe that such things are possible.”  (Orson Pratt, 26 Oct., 1879; JD 24:24-26)

1 Nov.:  The Temple in New Jerusalem.

“The cities and temples which we are now engaged in building, we expect to decay; we expect the rock and the various building materials will in time waste away, according to natural laws.  But when we build that great central city, the New Jerusalem, there will be no such thing as the word decay associated with it; it will not decay any more than the pot of manna which was gathered by the children of Israel and put into a sacred place in the ark of the covenant.  It was preserved from year to year by the power of God; so will he preserve the city of the New Jerusalem, the dwelling houses, the tabernacles, the Temples, etc., from the effects of storms and time.  It is intended that it will be taken up to heaven, when the earth passes away.  It is intended to be one of those choice and holy places, where the Lord will dwell, when he shall visit from time to time, in the midst of the great latter-day Zion, after it shall be connected with the city of Enoch.  That then is the difference.

The Lord our God will command his servants to build that Temple, in the most perfect order, differing very much from the Temples that are now being built.  You are engaged in building Temples after a certain order, approximating only to a celestial order; you are doing this in Salt Lake City.  One already has been erected in St. George, after a pattern in part, of a celestial order.  But by and bye, when we build a Temple that is never to be destroyed, it will be constructed, after the most perfect order of the celestial worlds.  And when God shall take it up into heaven it will be found to be just as perfect as the cities of more ancient, celestial worlds which have been made pure and holy and immortal.  So it will be with other Temples.  And we, in order to build a Temple, after a celestial order in the fulness of perfection, will need revelators and prophets in our midst, who will receive the word of the Lord; who will have the whole pattern thereof given by revelation, just as much as everything was given by revelation pertaining to the tabernacle erected in the wilderness by Moses. . . .

I expect, when that time comes, that man will understand all the particulars in regard to the Temple to be built in Jackson County.  Indeed, we have already a part of the plan revealed, and also the plat explaining how the city of Zion is to be laid off, which may be found commencing on page 438, Volume 14 of the Millennial Star.  From what has been revealed of this Temple to be erected we can readily perceive that it will differ from anything that we have had.  It will differ in regard to the number of rooms; it will differ very much in its outward and also its inward form; and it will differ in regard to the duties to be performed in each of its rooms to be occupied by the respective departments of priesthood.  This house will be reared, then according to a certain plan, which God is to make known to his servant whom he will, in his own due time, raise up.  And he will have to give more revelation on other things equally as important, for we shall need instructions how to build up Zion; how to establish the centre city; how to lay off the streets; the kind of ornamental trees to adorn the sidewalks, as well as everything else by way of beautifying it, and making it a city of perfection, as David prophetically calls it.

And then God will come and visit it; it will be a place where he will have his throne, where he will sit occasionally as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and reign over his people who will occupy this great western continent; the same as he will have his throne in Jerusalem.”  (Orson Pratt, 1 Nov., 1879; JD 21:153-154)

2 Nov.:  Apostleship holds all the power.

“When the Lord restored the Apostleship to the earth he restored all the power that was possible for a human being to hold in the flesh.  When he restored the keys of the holy priesthood unto his servant Joseph, when he gave unto him the sealing powers, when he gave unto him the endowments and the keys of the holy priesthood associated therewith, when the Prophet Joseph received the keys from Elijah, and from all the prophets that had existed upon the earth from the beginning down–each one, as he says himself in one of his epistles–each one in his dispensation coming forward and bestowing upon him the authority pertaining thereto, there was embodied in him all the priesthood they held, and he bestowed upon his fellow Apostles all the priesthood he exercised and all the power and authority bestowed upon mortal man to exercise here upon the earth, so far as the present is concerned; that is, all the keys of the priesthood and everything that is necessary in this preparatory state, and to make man a fit subject for the celestial kingdom of God.  By the command of the Lord he conferred that authority upon his fellow servants to bind upon earth and it should be bound in heaven, to seal the children to the father and the mother, and to seal the wife to the husband, and to weld all the links necessary in order to complete the salvation of all the children of men from the days of Adam down to our day, and also to prepare men and women for the future that lies before us, the millennium to which we are all hastening.  Who can conceive of any power that was lacking?  Who had power to promise unto man that they should be kings and priests unto God?  And in addition to that, who had the power to seal upon them the actual kingly and priestly dignity and confirm upon them the fulness of it, and also to give them promises respecting the Godhead that should be fulfilled upon them, and if faithful, to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection?  Now, there was nothing lacking, and there was no power, there was no gift, there was no authority, there were no keys lacking, and these keys have been handed down through him.”  (George Q. Cannon, 2 Nov., 1879; JD 21:269-270)

12 Nov.:  What part of Genesis retranslated in Dec., 1830?

“It was after this was given, and the Book of Mormon was published, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arose.  But the Lord, thinking that we had not sufficient understanding of this pre-existence, began to tell us (in the month of June 1830,

only a few months after the organization of the Church) more about these things.  He told us about the spiritual creation, something we did not comprehend before.  We used to read the first and second chapters of Genesis which give an account of the works of the Almighty, but did not distinguish between the spiritual work and the temporal work of Christ.  Although there are some things in King James’ translation that give us a little distinction between the two creations, yet we did not comprehend it.  The light shone, in some measure, in darkness, but so dark were our minds, through tradition, that we did not comprehend the light–or the few feeble glimmerings of light, contained in these first and second chapters of the uninspired translation.  But our heavenly Father inspired his servant Joseph Smith, to translate several chapters more in the Book of Genesis, in December 1830, which gave a more full account, down to the days of the flood.  He told us a great many important principles, principles that he did not give, so far as the historical matter was concerned, in the Book of Mormon.  They were an addition in some respects, and therefore, they were new to us, who lived in the early rise of the Church, and calculated to give us great joy.”  (Orson Pratt, 12 Nov., 1879; JD 21:199-200)

15 Nov.:  Commentary on pre-Nauvoo temple practices.

“On the 6th day of April, 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, with a prophet, seer and revelator at its head.  No such church had existed for fourteen hundred years, or thereabouts.  On the 2nd of January, following, the Lord told Joseph Smith, the prophet, that after he had fulfilled a command to go to Ohio (he being then in Fayette, New York) he should be endowed with power from on high.  This was startling news for this dark and benighted age.  No such promise had been given for ages, and all Christendom had concluded that no such thing was ever again to transpire in this world.  The promise of endowments was perhaps all that the Church could bear at that time; hence nothing was said about building a temple in Ohio.

On the ninth of February, only one month and seven days later, the saying of an ancient prophet, that the Lord ‘would give line upon line, here a little and there a little,’ was verified.  The Lord then said, ‘that my covenant people may be gathered in one * * * when I shall come to my temple.’

As this was the only Church with which the Lord was ‘well pleased,’ they now understood that at some future time a temple was to be built for His people; but even now the associating of endowments with temples had not, so far as we know, entered even the heart of the prophet.  Both temple and endowments were then in the glorious future, and the place where the former was to be, or what the latter were, remained among the hidden things still to be revealed.  True, Joseph and the Church had read of cloven tongues as of fire, some of the results of a heavenly endowment, but what preparations were being made during the time they were tarrying seems to have been among the unrecorded things which were ‘not given to the world to know;’ hence were kept until another people were prepared to receive them by revelation.  Having now learned that a temple was to be erected, and that endowments were to be given, it did not take long for the Holy Spirit to associate the two together in the minds of the Saints.  But the sequel will show that even up to the time the Kirtland Temple was completed, none but the different quorums of the priesthood were allowed to participate in those blessings, and even they were only to receive a preparatory endowment.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 14(22):257, 15 Nov., 1879)

15 Nov.:  Obtaining power in the temple.

“[Apostle Brigham Young speaking] The Lord will bless this people if we go to with our might and build these Temples; our young men can receive the ordiancnes of the gospel and power that will enable them to carry off this Kingdom, obtain power over our enemies, unite ourselves upon the principles that God has revealed, and obtain salvation in the kingdom of God.”  (Sanpete Stake Conference minutes, 15 Nov., 1879; DN 28(44):691, 3 Dec., 1879)

30 Nov.:  Marriage following sealings.

“Apostle Joseph F. Smith gave instructions as to what constituted a legal marriage, there being no statutory law on marriage in the Territory; marriages solemnized at the Endowment House were legal, and there was no need for Saints to seek the services of a justice of the peace in this matter aeither before or after marriage at the Endowment House, it did not make it any more binding before the law, but showed a lack of faith and was in direct opposition to the teachings of the priesthood of God relating to these matters.”  (Utah Stake Conference minutes, 30 Nov., 1879; DN 28(46):723, 17 Dec., 1879)

Dec.:  Statement of William Smith.



Bro. W. W. Blair:–In reply to your letter of inquiry as to the teachings of my brother, Joseph Smith, on the subject of the ‘Endowment,’ to your first question, Did Joseph the Seer teach or give an endowment at Nauvoo, or elsewhere, the same or similar to that given by the Brighamites?  I answer, He did not.  Joseph Smith gave no such an endowment, nor did he give a similar one.

That there was an endowment promised, is true; but the order of that endowment was to be revealed to the Church after the temple (spoken of in the Revelation of 1841) should be completed.

No such an order for the endowment as the administration of ordinances, or the administration of oaths and covenants was ever talked of by the prophet, to my knowledge.

The understanding had, and the only thing talked of and taught by my brother Joseph, was that of a Solemn Assembly, and the purifying of the heart by prayer, and by this means effect a greater apiritual union in the Church, both with the ministry and members of the Church, and that the Church might enjoy more of the Spirit’s power, in the gifts of the Spirit, to the edification and the increase of the faith of the Saints.

What may be drawn from these statements is all that any one can say in truth concerning the promised endowment as taught by Joseph Smith.

As for similarity in teaching and doctrine on the Endowment, Brigham Young bore no resemblance whatever to Joseph Smith.

The Brighamite Apostasy may teach many things found in the gospel of Christ, and teach them for a covering; but Joseph Smith taught the fullness of the gospel.  The latter taught no ‘blood atonement,’ no adultery, and no secret oaths and covenants.

Brigham Young, H. C. Kimball, O. Hyde, Willard Richards, and others, were the sole authors of ‘the endowment’ administered by the Brighamites.  And the whole thing gotten up by them is not only sacrilegious, but is a most infamous libel upon the name and character of Joseph Smith.

William B. Smith.

The above is very direct testimony, and from one who ought to know as much aboutthe matter of which he speaks as any of the Twelve Apostles living at the time of Joseph’s death.  He was then a member of that quorum, and being a brother of the Prophet, should have had superior opportunities for knowing what the teachings of the Prophet were.

From the revelations given in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, January, 1831, par. 8, ‘When men are endowed with power from on high and sent forth;’ February, 1831, par. 4, ‘Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power;’ June 22d, 1834, par. 3, ‘It is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion, that they themselves may be prepared, and that my people may be taught more perfectly, and have experience, and know more perfectly concerning their duty, and the things which I require at their hands, and this can not be brought to pass until mine elders are endowed with power from on high; for behold I have prepared a great endowment and blessing to be poured out upon them, inasmuch as as they are faithful and continue in humility before me;’ from these testimonies it is seen the Church expected an endowment of spiritual power, and not one of robings, scenic display, covenants, oaths, grips, passwords, etc.”  (W. W. Blair, The Saints’ Advocate 2:65, Dec., 1879)

1 Dec.:  Commentary on Independence temple site.

“As but one temple had been spoken of up to this time, the Saints would naturally begin to wonder where it would be built.  In July, 1831, only about four months after the last mentioned revelation was given, the Lord said to the prophet: ‘Behold, the place which is now called Independence,’ (in Jackson County, Missouri) ‘is the center place, and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from the court house.’  (See Doc. and Cov., Sec. lvii., verse 3.)  In the previous verse he says:  ‘Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion.’  This, of course, would be a very proper place for a temple.

Zion means, ‘the pure in heart;’ hence a city of the pure in heart would be a very proper people to be endowed with power from on high.  Hence, we can see clearly that these three–temples, Zion and endowments–might well go hand in hand.

On the first day of August, 1831, Sidney Rigdon was commanded to dedicate the land of Zion and ‘the spot of the temple unto the Lord.’

Of this temple we only need say that, although the spot where it was to be erected was duly dedicated, and the corner stone laid, the Saints were driven out, and had no chance to finish it.  They were sad.  They had not supposed that their enemies could move them; but they learned by bitter experience that the Lord would not protect them except they kept His commandments.  Many had become slothful and covetous, and neglected the temple and the tower to overlook the land, saying, ‘What need hath the Lord of these things?’

After they were driven out they began to humble themselves; but the Lord said, ‘In the days of your prosperity you esteemed lightly my counsel, * * * and now I will be slow to listen to your cries.’  Yet He did not leave them comfortless, but told them that the land should be redeemed, and the temple built during the generation then existing.  We are to understand from this, that there were persons then living, in 1832, who would live until the temple should be built.  He also told them that those who remained, who were pure in heart, with their children, should return with songs of everlasting joy, and there should be a cloud resting upon the holy temple by day and a pillar of fire by night, and the glory of the Lord would fill the house.

The Lord said the land must be redeemed either by purchase or by blood.  If by blood, but few would live to obtain their inheritances.  Hence, the authorities of the Church have counseled to bear and forbear while forbearance could reasonably be considered a virtue.

Our enemies have often taken a cowardly advantage of our long-suffering, until sometimes it has been necessary to say to them, ‘Stop; you cannot come any farther.’  Had we not done so, we would not to-day have a place to lay our heads, much less to build temples, or anything else.  God has delivered us, and will continue to do so, as long as we put our trust implicitly in Him.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 14(23):269, 1 Dec., 1879)

15 Dec.:  Commentary on Kirtland temple.

“We have here illustrated the Kirtland Temple, built in Kirtland, Geauga County (now Lake County) Ohio, during the poverty of the Church.  At that time perhaps two thousand people, or even less, constituted the entire Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they were mostly of the poorer class.  A few well-to-do farmers composed the so-called wealthy portion of the Church.  Those who had a little property, as a rule, clung to it, leaving those who were dependent upon their labor for their daily food to build the house of the Lord. 

How often have I seen those humble, faithful servants of the Lord, after toiling all day in the quarry, or on the ubilding, when the walls were in course of erection, weary and faint, yet with cheerful countenances, retiring to their homes with a few pounds of corn meal that had been donated.  And, in the case of those who lacked a cow to give a little milk, the corn meal was sometimes, for days together, all that they and their families had to subsist upon.  When a little flour, butter or meat came in, they were luxuries.  Sometimes a little New Orleans molasses, not as good as our sorghum, would be donated; but oftener the hands had to seek a job elsewhere to get a gallon or so, and then return to the labor on the temple.

To show how little interest the few who had means took in building the temple, and supplying the wants of the hands, one instance only need be mentioned.

I think it was Father Fisher, who, by some accident, fell from the scaffold, and was disabled for performing manual labor.  He could manage, by the labor of his boys, to get a little corn; but corn bread alone was dry food.  He went to the prophet and asked him what he should do, and was told to get up a subscription paper and present to those who were best able to donate, and raise money enough to buy a cow, which would cost from ten to twelve dollars.  He did as directed, and received the full sum of seventy-five cents.  One person gave fifty and another twenty-five cents.  This so disgusted the prophet that he preferred a charge against them before the High Council ‘for a lack of charity to the Church, and benevolence to the poor.’  One of them made a humble acknowledgment, and the other was disfellowshiped.

This house was commenced in 1834, and completed in 1836. 

It was dedicated on the 27th of March, 1836.  Upon that occasion nearly all of the Elders, and perhaps over half of the members of the whole Church were present.  There were in all from eleven to twelve hundred souls.  About one thousand, or perhaps less, were seated.  Many had to remain outside, or go away, as there was not even standing room for all inside.

About the time the door was closed Elder F. G. Williams testified that he saw an angel enter the upper pulpit. Joseph said he saw not only the one Brother Williams saw, but others.  The house was filled with the Holy Spirit, and many had a testimony that not only angels but Jesus, the Savior of the world, was also present.

Seven days later, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, being in the temple, on the 3rd of April, 1836, had the following visions:

‘The vail was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.  We saw the Lord standing upon the breast work of the pulpit, before us, and under His feet was a paved work of pure gold in color like amber.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, the hair of His head was white like the pure snow, His countenance shone above the brightness of the sun, and His voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying–

I am the first and the last, I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain, I am your advocate with the Father.  Behold, your sins are forgiven you, you are clean before me, therefore lift up your heads and rejoice, let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name, for behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here, and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house, yea, I will appear unto my servants and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house, yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house; and the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands, and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people.  Even so.  Amen.

After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us, and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.  After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying, that in us, and in our seed, all generations after us should be blessed.  After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us, for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us and said–

Behold, the time has fuly come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi, testifying that he (Elijah) should be sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse.  Therefore the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands, and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 14(24):283, 15 Dec., 1879)