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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1880

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1880.” You can view other years here.

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1880:  1 Jan.:  Joseph’s vision of Celestial Kingdom.

“At early candle-light, on the evening of the 21st day of January, 1836, the prophet Joseph Smith met with the presidency of the Church, in the west school room of the Temple.  They there and then consecrated a quantity of oil for the purpose of the holy anointing, and, first of all, poured the holy oil upon the head of father Joseph Smith, Sen.  After praying our Father in heaven to bless him, the prophet anointed the aged veteran, his father, and sealed many blessings upon him.  The balance of the presidency then pronounced blessings upon him in turn, according to age, as the Holy Spirit dictated; all blessed him as a patriarch, to anoint the heads of the presidency, and to attend to the duties of his calling as patriarch.

‘The presidency then took the seat in their turn, according to their age, beginning at the eldest, and received their anointing and blessing under the hands of Father Smith.’

Among other things, after anointing the head of Joseph, he sealed upon him ‘the blessings of Moses, to lead Israel in the latter days,’ which also, at another time, were sealed by Moses himself.  The heavens were opened unto them and they saw many things which were not written.  Joseph saw the celestial kingdom of God and the glory thereof, with the beautiful gate, and the blazing throne of God, whereon the Father and Son were seated.  He also saw Father Adam, and Abraham, with his own father and mother, and his brother Alvin, who died before the Church was organized.  Seeing his brother Alvin there, who had not had the privilege of baptism for the remission of sins, caused him to marvel.  It is not probable he would have thought it strange to have seen him in any of the lesser glories, because he was a noble, good-hearted, pious young man, and believed every word of Joseph’s first visions, received before his death.  The Lord answered Joseph on this wise:  ‘All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom, for I, the Lord will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.’

What glorious news this must have been to Joseph!  If he gained celestial glory, that darling brother who, by act of providence, was prevented from receiving the gospel, would not be separated from him; and this is a sample of all others in like circumstances.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(1):3-4, 1 Jan., 1880)

15 Jan.:  Washings and anointings in Kirtland.

“All of the different quorums of the Church met separately at convenient places, girded themselves with towels, after the pattern of Jesus, and washed each other previous to entering the house of the Lord.  In the temple their feet were washed by the presidents and counselors of their quorums; and so filled with the Holy Ghost were those who washed the feet of others that they were constrained to pronounce great and glorious blessings upon their heads while thus engaged.

Then came the holy anointing, by the same presiding officers, a full account of which will be found in the fifteenth volume of the Millennial Star, in the history of Joseph Smith.

It would occupy too much time to delineate all the particulars here.  Many had great and glorious visions.  Some prophesied great blessings upon Israel and terrible calamities upon the wicked, especially the mobs who had driven the Saints from Jackson County, Missouri.  I well recollect Elder Jedediah M. Grant, a mere youth just merging to manhood, said, ‘many of them would die on the prairies, ravens and buzzards would pick out their eyes and dogs would gnaw their bones, which would bleach on the plains.’  This was literally fulfilled during the great gold excitement from 1849 to 1852.  The cholera raged among them, and many were left along the Platte River, without being buried, while others were so slightly covered that the wolves unearthed and drew them out of their graves.

I recollect very vividly that Elder Erastus Snow, then a lad about seventeen years old, and now one of the Twelve Apostles, arose and prophesied on his own head that he would fish out Israel in the United States, traveling from State to State, after which he would cross the great Atlantic Ocean and fish them from nation to nation, he would then return, and with the Saints go west of the Rocky Mountains, where he would hunt Israel from the vales, dells, caves and dens of the earth, and bring them to a knowledge of the true gospel.

I need not tell my young friends that these mere boy’s predictions, if Brother Snow will allow me the term, have been fulfilled to the very letter; they know it for themselves.  Elder Snow’s labors abroad and presidency over and labors in the southern mission are living witnesses of the fact that he spoke as he was moved upon by the Holy Ghost.

These endowments were previous to the dedication of the temple.  We will now return and say a few words about the dedication prayer.

That prayer was given to the prophet Joseph Smith by revelation.  He was inspired to quote from a former revelation thus:  ‘Seek ye diligently, and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning by study, and also by faith.’  This revelation was given to the Elders, but will apply to all Saints.  I hope my young brethren in particular will heed this command, as they will in a few short years receive the holy priesthood.  They will always find the best books in the Sabbath schools.

I intended to write several more articles on the endowments, but I will leave them for the present, and in my next speak of the Nauvoo Temple.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(2):16, 15 Jan., 1880)

24 Jan.:  Prayer circle room dedicated in St. George.

“Went to Virgen put up at Bishop John Parker.  found him quite poorly, but able to meet with us at the New Circle room.  this afternoon I offered the dedication Prayer and instructed the Brethren who had been invited to attend.  Elders J G Bleak, D. H. Cannon & Milo Andrus arrived in to meet with us.  We held two Circles.”  (J. D. T. McAllister diary, 24 Jan., 1880; Huntington Library)

26 Jan.:  True order of prayer.

“Thus saith the Lord unto my servant John Taylor and my servant Wilford Woodruff and my servant Orson Pratt and to all the residue of mine Apostles. Have you not gone forth in my name without Purse or scrip and declared the Gospel of Life and Salvation unto this Nation and the Nations of the Earth and warned them of the Judgments which are to come as you have been moved upon my the power of the Holy Ghost and the inspiration of the Lord. You have done this year by year for a whole Generation as man count time. Therefore your garments are clean of the Blood of this generation and especially of this Nation. Therefore as I have said in a former commandment so I the Lord say again unto mine Apostles go ye alone by your selves whether in heat or in cold and cleanse your feet with water pure water, it matters not whether it be by the running streams or in your closets but bear their testimonies before the Lord and the Heavenly hosts. And when you have all done this then gather yourselves together in your Holy places and cloth yourselves in the Robes of the Holy Priesthood and there offer up your Prayers according to my Holy Law. Let him who presides be mouth and kneel upon the Holy Alter. . . . And what I the Lord say unto you mine Apostles I say unto my servants the Seventies, the High Priests, the Elders and the Priests. And all my servants who are pure in heart. . . . The Lord will hear your Prayers and [I] am bound by oath and covenant to defend you and fight your battles as I have said in a former commandment. . . .”  (Journal of Wilford Woodruff; Church Historical Department; Ms/f/115; Undated entry following summary of 1880; January 26, 1880)

5 Feb.:  Nauvoo temple covenant to assist poor.

“[Bishops’ Meeting, SLC] Bishop E. D. Wooley then made a few remarks.  He well remembered making a covenant, with others, in the Nauvoo Temple, never to cease his efforts until his brethren and sisters were delivered from Babylon, a covenant which he had kept and was still keeping.  He had had an investment in the P. E. Fund for 30 years, and expected interest on it, not on earth, but in heaven.  He had donated it to help emigrate the poor, and many of the poor had been emigrated.  It was therefore a question in his mind whether he could consistently go to those who had been thus emigrated, demand as a debt that which he had given as an offering, and afterwards claim the blessing he was promised for making the donation.”  (Reprint of report of 6 Feb.; DN 29(2):25, 11 Feb., 1880)

1 Mar.:  Baptisms for the dead in Nauvoo.

“It was in Nauvoo that the doctrine of baptism for the dead was first taught as a principle of the faith of the Saints, although I understand that in the days of Kirtland Joseph told some of the Elders that it was a part of the gospel, and would yet be practiced as such.  The knowledge of the fact that the temples were the places to attend to this ordinance seems not to have been possessed, even by the prophet, much less the masses of the Saints.  The Lord told Joseph to teach it, which he did, and found the great majority of the Saints ready to receive it.  Many were baptized in the Mississippi River.  This trial of their faith was sufficient, and the Lord then told Joseph that a temple was the proper place, and that the basement was the place for the baptismal as it represented the grave.  What they ahd done was accepted and valid until they had an opportunity of building a temple with a font.  Then it would have to be done over again according to the pattern.

At this time Joseph’s life was sought by his enemies, and he had to hide or flee from place to place to keep out of their hands, hence he wrote letters giving a little here and a little there; for, clear as is this doctrine now, it was new to the Saints then, and some stumbled at it.

For at least fourteen hundred years the ministers had told the people that nothing could be done for people after they were dead.  If they were good, religious people they went direct to heaven; but if they were wicked, or only common moral people and not religious, they, with the murderer, thief, liar and all other bad people, went immediately to a lake of fire and brimstone, there to remain to all eternity.  The Catholics were an exception to this rule, as they held that for certain sums of money the wicked might be prayed out of hell, or purgatory, as they term it, by the priest under the authority of the pope or presiding bishop which is the highest officer in their church.

What a flood of light now opened up to the faithful Saints!  Truly this was turning the key of Elijah, who appeared to Joseph in the Kirtland Temple and gave him power to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to their fathers.  How this was to be done was not then made known, but the Lord took a time when Joseph needed comfort and when the Saints needed encouragement to roll back the curtain of superstition and bigotry, whereby the children could release their fathers from the prison house of darkness and hopeless gloom, and allow them to gather and associate with the Saints who had heard and obeyed the gospel in the flesh.  Do you not think, children, that this would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and that the children’s hearts would naturally turn towards their fathers?  Such love and interest as the Saints manifest for their ancestors are nowhere else to be found.  It is true there is a great stir in the world now, tracing up genealogies, but it is for earthly glory or renown, for the world do not believe anything can be done to benefit the dead.

The Lord told Joseph there must be a recorder to keep a record of the baptisms for the dead, and that there should also be two or three witnesses who could testify to the facts, and their names should also be recorded.  Then there should be a general recorder, who should write all those things in a book, as the dead would be judged out of the things written in the books; that is, by what the books showed had been done for them by the living.  The Elders had read in the revelations of St. John that the dead should be judged by the things written in the books, but until now they could not comprehend it.  The Lord told Joseph that the recorder must ‘be very particular and precise in taking the whole proceedings, certifying in his record that he saw with his eyes and heard with his ears, giving the date, and names,’ etc.

Joseph further instructed the Saints that the reason why the Lord was so particular about the records was because what was properly recorded by those holding the holy priesthood would be recorded in heaven.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(5):56-57, 1 Mar., 1880)

16 Mar.:  Reconfirmation of 2nd Anointing, other ordin.

“Prest [Wilford] Woodruff spent an hour with me, talking of his labors & travels, revelations & manifestations (during his mission in Arizona) 16 Jan 1880.  he was pleased with my labors in the Temple.  The Lord had made known to him that my labors and acts in the Temple were accepted, gave me many precious words for my guidance, sealing upon me all my former blessings, endowments, 2nd anointing or any blessing heretofore promised me by any man, was reconfirmed by him.”  (J. D. T. McAllister diary, 16 Mar., 1880; Huntington Library)

27 Mar.:  Room for prayer circle in Virgin City dedicated.

“Not having a book to write in, since last Oct. I could not make as full and complete entrees as I would like, but my time has been taken up just about the same in working at the Templ, going to meetings, visiting among the People &c.  Lately I went up the Rio Virgen in Company with Pres Jno T. D. McAllister, Jas Bleak, D H Cannon, Milo Andrus, and others.  Was at the dedication of a Room in the new Stone building at Virgin City for Prayer Circle.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 27 Mar., 1880)

8 Apr.:  Temple recommend and Word of Wisdom.

“Now I will say a few words more, and then I will close.  I have often been asked the question, what condition should a man be in in order to receive a recommend to go through the Temple of the Lord?  I will tell my feelings in regard to this matter, and if they are not correct, President Taylor and others of the Twelve can correct me.  I believe it is too late in the day to send men to the Temple who make a daily use of whiskey, or other strong drinks, tobacco, &c., and there perform the ordinances for their dead; it is not acceptable in the sight of the Lord God of Israel.  If we are going to be saved, let us build up the Kingdom of God, let us be reasonable and live according to what we preach; let us live our religion.  I do not believe that a man is fit to go into the temples of the Lord to administer these ordinances for the living and the dead, who will make a practice of drinking strong drinks.  What do you drink?  Whiskey?  No; you drink strychnine; you drink tobacco and a great deal of abysinthe, ‘blue ruin’ and death; you drink anything under heaven but pure liquor.  It can scarcely be said to exist in the land.  The stuff that is sold deprives you of your agency, and gives the devil power over you; it does so with anybody who makes a practice of using this liquor and other intoxicants.  No one who uses them is fit to administer in the ordinances of the House of the Lord.  My own faith is that no one is fit to administer the sacrament, baptize the children of men, or administer in the House of God, unless he in a measure keeps the Word of Wisdom.  The Spirit of God will not dwell in unholy temples.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 8 Apr., 1880; CR Apr., 1880, p. 84)

8 Apr.:  Word of Wisdom and Temple Recommends.

“It was time for all who had indulged in drunkenness or any kind of evil to repent and set it aside.  no man who swears, uses whisky or tobacco habitually, should be permitted to go into the Temple of the Lord to receive blessings.”  (Wilford Woodruff, General Conference Minutes, 8 Apr., 1880; DN 29(11):172, 14 Apr., 1880)

8 Apr.:  Those refusing Church courts can’t go to temple.

“Another thing.  The Lord has given unto us our various Courts–Bishops’ Courts, High Councils, etc., and it is expected that the Saints will adjust any matters of difficulty or dispute that may arise among them, before those courts, and that they do not go to law before the ungodly; and if any do so, I will promise them, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, that they will be destroyed by the ungodly.  Hear it, you Elders of Israel, and you Saints of latter days!  Let us seek in the first place among ourselves to execute judgment in righteousness, and then let every man and every woman submit to them.  That is God’s law, and any man that acts contrary to this law cannot go into the temples of the Lord to receive the ordinances of God’s house.  For if we cannot submit to the law of God on the one hand, we cannot receive the blessings through his ordinances, on the other hand.  Is that right?  {The congregation answered, Yes.}”  (President John Taylor, 8 Apr., 1880; CR Apr., 1880, p. 100)

May:  Joseph not author of “Brighamite” endowment.

“That Joseph Smith was not the author of the Brighamite ‘endowment’–that given in the temple at Nauvoo, after the assassination of Joseph and Hyrum–is seen in a ‘covenant’ taken by those who receive said ‘endowment,’ to wit; that they will ‘avenge the blood of Joseph and Hyrum upon this generation.’  This covenant, it is clear, was never given till after the blood of Joseph and Hyrum had been shed at Carthage Jail.  There was no place for it before–no occasion for it before.  Nothing can be plainer than this.

This ‘covenant’ having been gotten up since their death, and made a part of what is claimed to have been given by Joseph, amounts to conclusive proof that said ‘endowment’ is spurious, and not of divine authority, and that it did not originate with Joseph.

If it be claimed that Pres. Young and his fellows added this item, then may it not be, nay is it not morally certain, that the entire institution was of their manufacture?  The audacity that would invent such a terrible and ungodly covenant, would likewise invent the entire ‘endowment’ and seek to palm it off upon the Church as coming from Joseph.  This is not the only case where parties have imposed grievous burdens, revolting doctrines, and iniquitous practices upon the Saints under the false claim that they were taught or sanctioned by Joseph.  John D. Lee, on the very spot where he led in the massacre of near one hundred and thirty innocent souls confessed, in the presence of death, that he was brought to his shameful fate, not by the teachings of Joseph but by the teachings of Brigham, (who claimed to be Joseph’s successor, mouthpiece, and echo).

Many erring Saints who violate their own conscience, and do contrary to their own innate perceptions of right and wrong, do so because they are made to believe that the teachings and practices of Joseph will sustain them, that he taught and practiced what their own good sense condemns.  The time has come when the doctrines and practices of Joseph will be measured by what he, in an authentic way, left on record.  As for any private teachings or practices by him, they can be of no binding force upon the Saints.  When it is claimed he taught or practiced anything secretly that was of a religious nature, then the very claim condemns such acts.  Jesus says, ‘Let your light so shine before men that they, seeing your good works, may glorify your Father which is in heaven.’  Again ‘In secret I have said nothing.’  Any doctrine or practice, professedly for salvation, that hides itself away in secret–away from those who seek and need salvation–betrays the cloven foot.  No further evidence is needed that it is not of God.

If Joseph was the author of the Brighamite ‘endowment,’ why did not John E. Pate, William Smith (his own brother), William Marks (President of the High Council at Nauvoo, and President of that Stake), why did not they and many other leading men and women, Saints, living at Nauvoo at the time of his death, and for many months before, why did not they obtain the same ‘endowment,’ or be taught it by him?

The only endowment of which we read in the authentic writings of Joseph, is that of ‘power from on high’–this and only this.  That which was given at Kirtland, in 1835-6, was similar to that given on Pentecost.  Joseph’s history attests to this fact, as does also many living witnesses.  A similar endowment was given the ancient Nephites, as also Moses and the seventy elders in Sinai.  But the ‘endowment’ given at Nauvoo, after the death of Joseph, and that given in Utah, as hosts of credible witnesses testify, was utterly without spiritual light and power, and consisted of washings, anointings, robings, sealings, covenants, passwords, grips, and scenic display.

To the soul that is hungering and thirsting for the actual knowledge of God, and is yearning for a closer walk with him, such an ‘endowment’ is a cruel mockery, a delusive mirage, a snare, a blinding imposition, a galling fetter upon the liberties of thought and conscience.  We challenge any one to produce, from any standard work of the Church in Joseph’s time, anything like the Brighamite ‘endowment,’ except it be those secret combinations which it is specially stated came from Satan.

[Quotes Gen. 5:37-38, JST; 2 Ne. 6:3; 2 Ne. 11:14-15; Hel. 2:30; Et. 3:12]

We need not remind the informed reader that this satanic combination hereinbefore described is strikingly similar to that said to have been administered after Joseph’s death in Nauvoo, and in Utah.  If they are not essentially the same, and have a similar origin, how can their striking similarities be explained?  Are we not, with the inspired records in our hands, justified in believing that these institutions are one and the same in their main features, workings and objects?  What are the sacred records for, if not to teach us what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is evil; what is of God and what is of Satan, or of men?  These records, especially New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants are the divine test, the heavenly appointed measure, by which to learn what the Son appoints and approves.  To them we must come now or hereafter; and they unqualifiedly condemn the secret ‘endowments’ imposed upon the confiding Latter Day Saints.  Light is pouring in, and the darkness will be made manifest thereby.”  (W. W. Blair, editor; “Endowments,” The Saints’ Advocate 2:118-120, May, 1880)

15 May:  Fullness of the priesthood.

“In my last I showed you how particular the Lord was about having everything recorded and witnessed.  This strictness is not confined to those two items, but the Lord has always been very particular to ahve things done ‘according to the pattern’ He has given.  In a revelation given on the 19th of January, 1841, He says:

‘For there is not a place found on earth that he may come and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fullness of the priesthood.’

Perhaps some of my young readers may enquire if Joseph Smith previous to the giving of this revelation was not an Apostle, which is the highest grade of priesthood in the Church, as well as Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and if there were not a quorum of Twelve Apostles, a Patriarch and a quorum of Seventies, as well as Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons.

Yes, my young friends, all these authorities were in the Church; yea, more, they had received endowments in the Kirtland Temple, where cloven tongues as of fire sat upon many, and they spoke with the power of God, and saw many marvelous things, brief mention of which has heretofore been made.  While Joseph Smith was an Apostle he was also the chief of the Apostles, and presided over the Apostles and over the whole Church, as is stated in the Doctrine and Covenants, sec. cvii., par. 91-92.  The question then arises, What is meant by the fullness of the priesthood?

It does not mean any special office above that of Apostles, but that there were powers belonging to the different grades of priesthood which had not been conferred.  They had no temple, no baptismal font, no administeration [sic] for the dead, no endowments, no place to ‘reveal ordinances which had been hid from before the world was.’  As a faint illustration, I will speak of the patriarchal priesthood, and say that every faithful Elder in Israel who has received a patriarchal blessing by a legally authorized father in Israel, is, himself, by virtue of his blessing, a patriarch to his children, and without such blessing is not a recognized patriarch.  This doctrine may be new to some of you, but whether or not, it is true.

But all faithful patriarchs have not the fullness of that priesthood.  By virtue of a patriarchal blessing the patriarch thus created receives power to renew unto his posterity the rights conferred upon him; but he cannot confer patriarchal blessings outside of his own lineage or rather beyond his immediate descendants; while those especially ordained to bless the people may bless all kindreds of the earth, and the Patriarch to the Church is recognized as the Patriarch of all Patriarchs.

In like manner men may be ordained to other grades of priesthood without obtaining a fullness thereof.  The Lord informed the prophet that the temples were the places to receive ‘the fullness of the priesthood.’  He said: ‘for a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that my Saints may be baptized for those who are dead; for this ordinance belongeth to my house,’ (a temple) ‘and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me.’

These additional powers include all of the keys that belong to the holy priesthood on the earth, or were ever revealed to man in any dispensation, and which admit men and women within the veil.  They enable them to pass by the angels and the gods, until they get into the presence of the Father and the Son.  They make of them kings and priests, queens and priestesses to God, to rule and reign as such over their posterity and those who may be given to them by adoption, in the great jubilee of rest which is near at hand.  It gives them the right to the tree of life, and the ‘seal of the living God in their foreheads,’ spoken of by John the revelator.  No marvel, then, that the Lord requires sacred places for such great and glorious things–‘the fullness of the holy priesthood’ to be restored.

The Lord continued, and said: ‘but I command you all, ye my Saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you sufficient time to build a house unto me, and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.  But behold at the end of this appointment, your baptisms for your dead’ (in the river) ‘shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment, ye shall be rejected as a Church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God. * * * For therein are the keys of the holy priesthood, ordained that you may receive honor and glory.’

I have not space to quote further at this time; in fact, what has been said ought to convince any and all of us that the Lord wants no half-way obedience to His laws, but is willing to condescend to mention the smallest items and then expects us to be humble enough to perform the smallest as well as the great obligations we are under to Him.

The doctrine that God would reject the dead on account of the neglect of the living may seem strange to some, but as they cannot be made perfect without us, the correctness of the doctrine is established, and it is doubly confirmed by the fact that we without them cannot be made perfect.  Both the living and the dead must rise or fall together.  This would seem to be the curse with which the earth would be smitten if the hearts of the fathers were not turned to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers by the ordinances of the house of the Lord.  What could be a greater curse?  All rejected, all cut off.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(10):111-112, 15 May, 1880)

1 Jun.:  Temple districts.

“The revelation referred to in my last, which stated that the Lord would reject the Church with its dead, if the temple in Nauvoo was not built in a reasonable time, would appear to apply with equal force to temple districts now.  Then, it applied to the whole Church, because only one temple was at that time required, and it took the whole strength of the Church, in its weak condition, to build that house.

Now, that the people have increased in wealth, and extended to three districts–Salt Lake, Sanpete and Logan–taking a common-sense view, if those in either district, as a body, fail to build their temple in a reasonable time, I see no cause why the revelation should not apply to that district; but if one or more districts perform the labor assigned them, I do not see why they should be rejected.

I think, as districts, we are just as responsible as the whole Church was, in the days of Nauvoo.  Certainly each district is much better able to build its temple now, than the whole Church was to build one then.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(11):122, 1 Jun., 1880)

15 Jun.:  Ordinances for the dead in the temples.

“On the 19th of January, 1841, the Lord told Joseph Smith, among other things, speaking to the Church, ‘Therefore, verily I say unto you, that your anointings and your washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn assemblages, and your memorials for your sacrifices, by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places * * * are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.’

In this last quotation are several very important facts revealed about temples and their uses besides baptism for the dead.  There are mentioned washings and anointings for the dead which could not be attended to in that house, owing to sore persecutions.  A few hundred of the living only received them for themselves.  There are memorials for sacrifices by the sons of Levi and other important matters, such as the oracles, including the Urim and Thummim, as well as the living oracles of the holy priesthood.  No ordinance for the dead except baptism could be attended to, nor do we even now attend to all of the ordinances of the Lord’s house.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(12):141, 15 Jun., 1880)

15 Jun.:  Ordinance of sacrifice to be performed in temple

“Perhaps some of my readers will be surprised when I tell them that sacrifices by the lesser priesthood belong to the gospel and is one of the ordinances to be performed in holy temples.  Such, however, is the fact, as will be seen from what I have quoted.  I will also state that when John the Baptist ordained Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic priesthood he told them that that priesthood should not be taken from the earth until the sons of Levi had offered an offering in righteousness.  Malachi also refers to the same thing to transpire jsut before the gread day of burning.

Abraham offered sacrifices, and yet the gospel was revealed to him; the same with Adam and many others.  There were certain rites ceremonies and sacrifices given to the children of Israel which were fulfilled in Christ–a law of carnal commandments–added to what had previously been given, including various types to keep Christ before that stubborn people.  This is called ‘the law of Moses,’ because it was given first to Moses, for the people, to remain only until Christ came; but the acceptable sacrifice of Abel could in no sense be called ‘the law of Moses.'”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(12):141, 15 Jun., 1880)

15 Jun.:  Farewell inscription written in Nauvoo Temple.

“In February, 1846, during some of the coldest storms ever witnessed in that country, most of the Twelve and many others crossed the Mississippi River, but not until they had done all that was required of them in that temple, and inscribed in large gilt letters, in the main room of the Lord’s house, about as follows:  ‘The Lord hath accepted our sacrifice.  Follow us.'”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(12):141, 15 Jun., 1880)

30 Jun.:  Marriage and divorce.

“Of late the papers east and west have made frequent reference to the subject of divorce.  They complain that divorces are increasing, taking up a great deal of the time of the courts, and showing, as they declare, that ‘a widespread dissatisfaction at present exists among married people.’  Nathan Allan, in an essay on divorce says, ‘there is once chance in twelve that a marriage contract once entered into will terminate in a legal separation.’

Divorces have become especially notable in New England because of its steady habits, strict religion and general industry–also for its numerical preponderance of women.  From 1869 to 1878 there were 2,775 divorces granted in Vermont, 7,233 in Massachusetts and 7,781 in Connecticut.  Since the year 1870 no less than 1,966 divorces have been decreed in Rhode Island.  These States do not lead the van of the divorce army, the numbers being greater in some other parts of the country, but the figures are remarkable in relation to the localities where half a century ago divorce was a rarity and a scandal.

The loosening of matrimonial bonds is one of the signs of decay in any nation or community.  The family is the basis of the commonwealth.  If its relations are unstable or insecurely connected, the whole State of which it forms a part is in imminent danger.  The history of dead nations shows that their dissolution was largely attributable to licentiousness, the offspring of contempt for marital covenants and obligations.  The same cause will produce like effects.  The lapse of time will not change the order of nature, nor avert the inevitable results of violated law.  Corruption will produce the same results in the United States as in Rome, and in the nineteenth century as surely as in any former age.

As the figures in the divorce scale rise, so does the indicator of the standard of public morals descend.  Laxity of sentiment in regard to the sanctity of the marriage contract is a sure sign of a tendency to licentiousness.  Where people treat the nuptial tie as inviolable, virtue is likely to be paramount.  The increase of divorces in this country is therefore to be viewed with sorrow, if not positive alarm.

One of the chief causes of the loose views that are gaining ground in relation to matrimonial bonds, is the prevalence of the pernicious doctrine that marriage is nothing but a civil contract.  Once it was regarded among all professedly Christian communities as a religious obligation.  The Catholic claimed it as a sacrament, the Protestant as at least an ordinance of God.  The ceremony was an ecclesiastical rite and the officiating priest stood as the supposed representative of Deity, and hence the injunction, from every altar, Papal, Episcopal or Dissenting–‘What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’

But, to-day, the marriage covenant is widely regarded in the same light as a contract to deliver so many bricks for so much money, or to perform a piece of manual work in a given time, or to fulfil any mere commercial or financial bargain.  God is thrust out of the transaction.  Marriage is declared in the Scriptures to be ‘ordained of God;’ modern law claims that it is ‘ordained by the State.’

Vows lightly made are apt to be lightly broken.  Popular opinion makes the sanction of the Church unnecessary, and even when its ceremonies are used in marriage, they are counted as nought but forms, and not essential to the contract.  indeed the idea is gaining ground that ceremonies of any kind, ecclesiastical or secular, are only concessions to society, submitted to for the sake of decorum, and that a mutual agreement between the parties is all that is actually needed to make the contract valid and complete.

What wonder then that people who tire of each other through constant association, who quarrel over some trifling disagreement, who become dazzled by other attractions, who have wedded for money and find it does not bring what they expected, or who are dissatisfied with their condition from any real or imaginary cause, seek without any compunction or idea that there is anything wrong in it, to release themselves from their marital obligations, and avail themselves of the loopholes of the law simply to guard themselves against any legal consequences that might ensue if they paid no attention to the law?  The moral aspect of the case cuts but a small figure in the business, and religion is left entirely out of the question.  This is a wide departure from the way of the Lord, and is sure to be fruitful of evil results.

The ‘Mormon’ theory of marriage is based on the doctrine that God, as the Father of the human family, has the right to a voice in their matrimonial unions.  Whenever he has had a divinely authorized priesthood on earth, He has given those who held the keys thereof the right under prescribed rules to perform ceremonies in the solemnization of matrimony.  A proper marriage is the union forever, of persons fitted for each other by natural adaptation, affection and esteem, by the administration of a divinely appointed ordinance.  This is the kind of marriage ‘ordained of God.’

When it is entered into, performed and carried out in the spirit thereof it admits of no divorce, either by the act of man or the process of nature.  Death does not divide the parties to this eternal contract.  When sealed on earth it is sealed in heaven.  Its offsprings belong to the parents in the world to come as well as in this life.  The family organization thus commenced in mortality reaches into and proceeds in immortality.  Death does not them part.  Or if it seems so to do, the light of eternity will show that the separation is but seeming.  Here is the beginning of a kingdom with a dominion and a glory that are ever increasing and will never end.  Numbers cannot give the idea of its extent, words fail to picture its boundless realities, infinite majesty and ineffable bliss.  This is celestial marriage, very briefly and imperfectly put.  It comprehends and includes, under divinely appointed regulations, the order of plurality of wives, on which we have not space now to descant.

But it may be asked is divorce always wrong?  We do not say so.  There are circumstances under which those who have been joined in marriage may and perhaps ought to be parted.  There are covenants and obligations of a sacred character contingent to and associated with God’s holy order of matrimony, and those who violate them have no valid claim on the power of the crowning contract, with its blessings, that is based upon them.

Speaking in a general sense, divorce is totally unjustifiable on trifling grounds.  Unchastity is a sufficient cause, so declared in Holy Writ.  And we are of the opinion that it is improper and unrighteous for people to live together and cohabit, where abiding disgust and aversion exist in the place of love and respect.  Where such conditions prevail, they are proof that the union was an error, and all grave errors that are capable of adjustment or removal should be rectivied or abolished.  But it frequently happens that the supposed aversion is only imaginary, or is produced by causes which we have neither space nor inclination at present to discuss, but which if removed would be followed by a renewal of affection.  Some of those causes are effectually prevented in plural marriage when it is properly practised, and hence the divorces in plural families are less in proportion than in monogamic.

Divorce should not be so easy of attainment as modern law makes it, neither should it be so lightly treated as modern custom encourages it to be.  The consent of parents; the sanction of God; due regard for the fitness of the parties; the abolition of marriages of convenience, whether they be prompted by financial or other mercenary or unworthy considerations; and a clear understanding of the eternal and solemn obligations of the nuptial contract; will do much to prevent the spread of the divorce mania.  We do not expect these considerations to prevail in the world, but all Israel should be impressed with the sanctity of the marriage relation, the sacredness of the marriage state, and the eternity of the marriage covenant, so that divorce may be viewed with aversion, and that families may be founded which, cemented by abiding love and by that patience, forbearance, gentleness and charity which are its constituents, may be as enduring as the throne of Jehovah, and bear everlasting fruits as numerous and beautiful as the countless stars that gem the midnight sky.”  (Editorial, “Marriage and Divorce,” DN 29(22):342, 30 Jun., 1880)

3 Jul.:  When Joseph gave the 12 their Endowments.

“Joseph Smith went into the spirit world to unlock the prison doors in this dispensation or generation.  He stayed here long enough to lay the foundation of this kingdom and obtain the keys belonging to it.  The last time he ever met with the quorum of the Twelve was when he gave them their endowments, and when they left him he had a presentiment that it was the last time they would ever meet.  He had something to do the other side of the vail.  He had a thousand to preach to there, where you and I have one in the flesh.  And this is the great work of the last dispensation–the redemption of the living and the dead.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 3 Jul., 1880; JD 21:194)

1 Aug.:  Woodruff’s dream of completed Salt Lake Temple.

“When in the western country, many years ago, before we came to the Rocky Mountains, I had a dream.  I dreamed of being in these mountains, and of seeing a large fine looking tempole erected in one of these valleys which was built of cut granite stone, I saw that temple dedicated, and I attended the dedicatory services, and I saw a good many men that are living to-day in the midst of this people.  And I saw them called of God and sent forth unto the United States and to Babylon, or what is called the Christian world, to bind up the law and seal up the testimony against the nations of the earth, because they had rejected the testimony of Jesus, and of the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth.  When the foundation of that temple was laid I thought of my dream and a great many times since.  And whenever President Young held a council of the brethren of the Twelve and talked of building the temple of adobe or brick, which was done I would say to myself, ‘No, you will never do it;’ because I had seen it in my dream built of some other material.  I mention these things to show you that things are manifested to the Latter-day Saints sometimes which we do not know anything about, only as they are given by the Spirit of God.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 1 Aug., 1880; JD 21:299-300)

15 Aug.:  Story of the St. George Temple.

“On the 31st of January, 1871, a Council meeting was held in St. George, at which were present:  Presidents Brigham Young and George A. Smith; Elders Erastus Snow and Brigham Young, Jun., of the Twelve Apostles; Elders Joseph W. Young, Robert Gardner and James G. Bleak, of the Presidency of St. George Stake of Zion; Elders Samuel Miles, John O. Angus, Joseph Birch, Richard Bentley and Erastus W. Snow of the High Council of St. George Stake; Patriarch Wm. G. Perkins; and Bishops D. D. McArthur, Henry Eyring, W. Granger, Wm. Snow and J. W. Freeman, together with other Elders. 

President Young introduced the subject of building a Temple to the Most High, in St. George.

The bare mention of such a blessing from the Lord was greeted with ‘Glory! Hallelujah!’ from President E. Snow, and all present appeared to share the joy.

The brethren unanimously voted in favor of the measure, and the Council was dismissed by the prayer of President Brigham Young.

On Thursday, November 9th, 1871, the Temple Block was dedicated by the prayer of President George A. Smith, President Brigham Young presiding.

After prayer, President Young made a few remarks.  He said:  ‘We want a concentration of the labors of the people to build this temple.  The idea may arise that this is a hard land in which to get a living.  Now, I am very thankful for the land just as it is.  It is a splendid country to rear Saints in.  Among our other duties, we have to build a Temple here. * * * If the brethren undertake to do this work with one heart and mind, we shall be blessed exceedingly, and prospered of the Lord in our earthly substance.  Now, if the people present are one with the First Presidency in this work, and will unite with them to prosecute the labor of building this Temple by faith, prayers and good works, let all, brethren and sisters, manifest it by the uplifted hand.’  The people with one accord raised their hands.

President Young took a shovel in his hand, and, pointing to the stake which had previously been driven in the southeast corner of the building site, said: ‘Immediately under this stake and in the foundation, will be placed a stone containing sacred records, and immediately over this stake, when the building is completed, will be placed another stone, containing the record of the Temple.’  He then said, suiting the action to the words: ‘I now commence by moving this dirt in the name of Israel’s God.’  All the people said, ‘Amen.’

President Young removed the earth on the east side of the stake; President George A. Smith followed by removing earth from the south side of the stake; President Erastus Snow removed earth from the North side of the stake; and President Joseph W. Young from the west side of the stake.  Then members of the First Seven Presidents of the Seventies: Levi W. Hancock, Henry Harriman and Jacob Gates, removed earth from the excavation, followed by James G. Bleak, of the Presidency of St. George Stake, Patrairch Wm. G. Perkins; Wm. Fawcett, President of High Priests in St. George Stake, Bishops and others.

Erastus Snow, President of the Southern Mission, addressed the people, calling to mind some of the promises made ten years before, relative to what the Lord, through His people, had accomplished in this part of the land; many of those promises had been realized, and he had faith that all would be.  He prayed the Lord to aid us in building the Temple, and to grant that we might live to see it dedicated, and that our beloved President, Brigham, might live to officiate at its dedication.  ‘This,’ said he, ‘is my earnest prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.’  The people gave a hearty ‘Amen.’

The choir and assemblage sang:

‘The Spirit of God like a fire is burning,

The Latter-day glory begins to come forth.’

President Young referred to the shouts of hosanna used in the Kirtland Temple, and led the shout of hosanna, and the clapping of hands, the people following.  He then said, ‘Brethren and sisters, you are dismissed in the name of the Lord.’

The people dispersed with joy in their hearts.  

On the afternoon of the day on which the foregoing proceedings occurred, plows and scrapers were liberally used in commencing the excavation for the foundation of the Temple.

Ellis M. Sanders, of St. George, plowed the first furrow in the work.”  (James G. Bleak, JI 15(16):182, 15 Aug., 1880)

31 Aug.:  How to give new names.

“Prest J. D. T. McAllister expressed his pleasure to meet

with us, and to be one, with us in our desires to go forward and Minister before the Lord in Sacred things, in His Stead upon the Earth. We are called to do this work before the Lord, act for him just as much as any man that was ever called. Aaron was not called any more of God, than we have been who labor in this House. I am glad of the unity, that we can live together and work together. . . * * * We will work towards perfecting ourselves and be guarded in our acts and Sayings, that God will accept of us and our labors. Those having charge of the Rooms will please to See that there is no loud talking or laughter in their rooms, avoid making a noise and Jar with the pipes in using the water &c. With regard to new Names. give easy names to be understood: Scripture names or names not in the Scripture, there are many good names of those who have lived upon the earth which are easy to understand, don’t give any fanciful names, be Sure they get the New Name and that they understand it. Avoid all you can having a noise with the Steam or Engine during prayer: Every person called to work in this house Should Notice the time and be in their Seats at prayer time. Brethren notice the prayer Roll and try and be here when your time comes for prayer, even if you have to be excused afterwards: Door Keepers See that there is no loud talking or laughter at the door. During the time of the Endowments, there Should be no knitting or Sewing in any of the rooms, no loud talking or noise, Workers who are called to take parts, commit them [to memory] So as not to have to read them but have your book with you So you can refer if necessary.”  (Meeting of workers at St. George Temple; John D. T. McAllister, President, M. F. Farnsworth, Recorder; 10 A.M., 31 Aug., 1880.  [No other source listed – part of Bergera, 1992 notes.])

1 Sep.:  Comparison of Kirtland, Nauvoo, St. George.

“In the Kirtland Temple there was no baptismal font, nor were there any washings, except the washing of feet.  No endowments were given there, either, except for the different quorums of the priesthood.  The washing of the bodies was attended to in private houses, by quorums, the presidents and their counselors taking the lead.  In the temple the washing of feet was attended to in the same manner, also the anointing with oil.  The latter was done by pouring oil upon the head, after the manner of the ancient prophets when setting men apart to the office of king.  The anointings were sealed by the presiding officers referred to.

In this those holding offices in the lesser priesthood were particularly favored and blessed, for they had not only Bishop Newel K. Whitney and counselors, of Kirtland, to bless them, but also Brother Edward Partridge, the first ordained Bishop in this dispensation, and his counselors, thus having six instead of three holy men of God to place their hands upon their heads and seal great and glorious blessings, which have been fulfilling from that day to the present; at least, that has been the experience of the writer, who was one of them, and in conversing with others, he finds it has been the same with them.

In the Nauvoo Temple a font was added, and baptisms for the dead and sealing, or marrying for time and all eternity, were attended to, as well as washing and anointing and blessing both men and women to become, through faithfulness, kings and priests, queens and priestesses to God, in the resurrection of the just.  A few also received the higher ordinances of the priesthood.

In the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, which was temporarilyu substituted for a temple, the same ordinances were attended to as in Nauvoo.

In the St. George Temple not only are all of the ordinances attended to that were in Nauvoo and Salt Lake City, but, in addition, are anointings, ordinations, sealings, adoptions and endowments for the dead.

There is another remarkable feature with regard to those who officiate in the St. George Temple.  Many of them, after beginning to officiate for the dead, and after releasing them from their prison of darkness, find others hovering around them and inquiring why they are neglected.

The most prominent of these up to the present time, so far as is known, were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, appealing to Elder Wilford Woodruff.  They had fought and bled to establish the liberty we enjoy.  Their arguments were irresistable, and they ceased not their impo[r]tunities until the work was done for them.

Many others have had the visitations of ancestors, and received the names of some, of whom they had never heard.

To the world these things are foolishness, and the religious people of the world have gone so far from God that they would set them down as blasphemy; but the Saints know they are the truths of heaven, and they rejoice with joy unspeakable.  They know that through obedience to these things the hearts of parents and children, ancestors and descendants, are turned to each other.  Thus the curse of the living and the dead being cut off together, may be escaped from, and an eternal reunion between them may be secured.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(17):194, 1 Sep., 1880)

1 Sep.:  Remodelling of St. George Temple.

“To day the Temple opened.  It looks well after being cleaned and fitted up; some alterations have been made in the lower rooms.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 1 Sep., 1880)

10 Oct.:  Brigham and Heber dressed in priestly robes.

“On one occasion, I saw Brother Brigham and Brother Heber ride in a carriage ahead of the carriage in which I rode when I was on my way to attend conference and they were dressed in the most priestly robes. When we arrived at our destination, I asked President Young if he would preach to us. He said, “No, I have finished my testimony in the flesh. I shall not talk to this people anymore. But (said he) I have come to see you; I have come to watch over you, and to see what the people are doing. Then (said he) I want to teach the people – and I want you to follow this counsel yourself – that they must labor and so live as to obtain the Holy Spirit, for without this you cannot build up the kingdom; without the spirit of God you are in danger of walking in the dark, and in danger of failing to accomplish your calling as apostles and as elders in the church and kingdom of God.”  (Journal of Discourses, Vol 21:317-318; Wilford Woodruff; October 10, 1880)

15 Oct.:  Ten tribes to visit temples.

“Not only will those of the Gentile nations who are of Israel receive their blessings in this and other temples built on the land of Zion, which is North and South America, but the Lamanites also.  Nor does the work end here.  The Ten Tribes will come also and be crowned under the hands of Ephraim.  So said the Lord through His great seer and revelator, Joseph Smith.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(20):229-230, 15 Oct., 1880)

15 Oct.:  Billions of the dead to officiate for.

“There will be millions of the living and many billions of the dead to officiate for; hence, we need not say, ‘What use is there in building this large temple, and so many temples?’  But the cry should be, ‘Lord, help us and those who come after us to perform the great work.'”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(20):230, 15 Oct., 1880)

31 Oct.:  Dissolution of 70s prayer circle.

“My wife went to meeting and I stayed at home and wrote in my journal.  I gave notice to the Bishop of my going away, as pointing to the Seventies prayer circle of which I was leader.  He said for me to break up the circle when I left and let the members meet with the High Priests circle.”  (Oliver B. Huntington journal, 31 Oct., 1880)

Nov.:  If garments protect, why wasn’t Joseph wearing his?

“If the temple garments used in Utah were given to the Church through Joseph, as some pretend, and are of such value to prevent accident, sickness, and all harmful influences; also to secure a certain and a glorious resurrection, why did not Joseph and Hyrum when they went to Carthage Jail, right into the midst of danger–why did they not wear them, and so prevent their brutal assassination?  And why were they not buried in such garments?  They neither wore such garments to Carthage, nor were they buried in them.  These facts damage the temple garment theory immensely.”  (“Temple Garments,” The Saints’ Advocate 3:35, Nov., 1880; W. W. Blair, editor.)

15 Nov.:  Preeminence of Independence Temple.

“With all the greatness of the Salt Lake Temple, and the flowing of the nations unto it, the centre city is the place for the Temple of the Lord to be built, whic is to be honored with the great feast and marriage supper of the Lamb.  That Lamb is Jesus, the Redeemer, who will appear in that Temple, and there will the Bride (the Church) be sealed to Him.

This is the last great welding link in the great chain of adoption between the Saints and our Elder Brother.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(22):255, 15 Nov., 1880)

15 Nov.:  Law of adoption.

“Children will be adopted to their parents (if the parents are worthy; if not, to others, unless born in the sealing covenant), the parents to other faithful men, and so on to Joseph, and lastly, all the worthy to Jesus, thus making one great family of the Saints of all ages and dispensations.”  (Daniel Tyler, JI 15(22):255, 15 Nov., 1880)

21 Nov.:  Reminiscence of Kirtland endowment.

“[Milo Andrus] Spoke of the blessings and power of God manifested in the Kirtland Temple.  Said he once asked the Prophet why he (Milo) did not feel that power taht was spoken of as the power which was felt on the day of Pentecost?  Joseph replied, ‘But if you want, and desire to know with all your heart about these things, if you will make it a matter of prayer in your washings and blessing from house.’  When we had fasted for 24 hours and partaken of the Lord’s supper, namely a piece of bread as big [as] your double fist and half a pint of wine in the Temple, I was there and saw the Holy Ghost decend upon the heads of those present like cloven tongues of fire.  I said it is enough, O Father, and I will bear a faithful testimony of it while I live.  He said he had done so.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 21 Nov., 1880)

23 Nov.:  Baptismal font normally heated.

“Rather Cold.  At the Temple before sunrise.  The Boiler being out of repair, the Baptizing had to be done in cold water.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 23 Nov., 1880)

10 Dec.:  Appearance of the dead in St. George Temple.

“A Sister Pitt told me that while officiating for her Dead Relatives last week She saw her mother at the vail Who had been dead for many years.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 10 Dec., 1880)

ca. 1880:  Law of Adoption questioned by Edward Bunker.

“I believe it is a correct principle and when it runs in the lineage it looks consistent, but the adoption of one man to another out of the lineage, I do not understand and for that reason I would not enter into it.  And adopting the dead to the living is as adopting the father to the son.  I don’t believe there is a man on earth that thoroughly understands the principle.  If there is I have never heard it taught so that I could understand it.  I believe it is permitted more to satisfy the minds of the people for the present until the Lord reveals more fully the principle.”  (Edward Bunker biography, holograph, LDS Archives.  Secion including Bunker’s remarks on adoption follows the biography proper.  Quoted in Gordon Irving, “The Law of Adoption,” BYU Studies 14(3):310, Spring, 1974)