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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1882

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1882.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1882.

1882:  5 Jan.:  Gaining power through gospel ordinances.

“I Spoke on prayer and of gaining Power on Power thro the ordinances of the Gospel of the son of God, &c.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 5 Jan., 1882)

21 Jan.:  OK to baptize children in temple font.

“President Taylor says yes Baptise Children at 8 years old in the Font in St Georg Temple.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 21 Jan., 1882)

25 Jan.:  Is her spirit at the funeral?

“The spirit of Sister Cannon has left us; her body is here awaiting the purifying changes it must undergo in mother earth.  But whether her spirit is present witnessing these funeral services, or whether she, on opening her eyes in the spirit world, would say, ‘I leave my body for my friends to bury, I must enter upon my mission,’ that is something we are not able to speak definitely about. God not having revealed it unto us.”  (Wilford Woodruff, remarks at the funeral of Elizabeth H. Cannon, 25 Jan., 1882; DN 31(2):24, 1 Feb., 1882)

25 Jan.:  No clothes of mourning.

“There are one or two things which I wish to mention; they may seem small matters to some.  I see in a telebram from Brother [George Q.] Cannon that he mentions certain things in regard to this funeral of his wife, one of which is, that he did not wish any show of mourning in connection with it.  We know his feelings in this respect; they are the same as ours.  It is customary for people to put on black apparel and to assume a melancholy appearance.  That may be all very well, by way of paying respect to our dead friends; but the question is, whether this is the most appropriate way.  Brother Cannon desired–I have talked with him also on the same subject–that the coffin in which the remains of his deceased wife should be laid, should be made of common mountain wood, and that everything about it be neat and plain, and that his family should not put on mourning apparel.  His brother Angus has been desirous to carry out his instructions touching this matter, doing away entirely with those ostentatious appearances and all unnecessary parade of mourning so common now-a-days on such occasions.”  (John Taylor, remarks at the funeral of Elizabeth H. Cannon, 25 Jan., 1882; DN 31(2):25, 1 Feb., 1882)

2 Feb.:  Baptisms for living in Temple font.

“Sent information to Priesthood Meeting, we had liberty to Baptise our children who are eight years old in the temple font.”  (J.D.T. McAllister diary, 2 Feb., 1882)

16 Feb.:  She was a High Priestess in the Temple.


As stated in the NEWS, the demise of Elizabeth A. Whitney, familiarly known as Mother Whitney, occurred shortly after two o’clock yesterday. . . .

She was the second of her sex that received the endowments, being a High Priestess in the House of the Lord, in which capacity she officiated until lately, when she was compelled to relinquish her labors on account of failing health.”  (Reprint of report of 16 Feb.; DN 31(5):72, 22 Feb., 1882)

25 Apr.:  Baptism for dead friends.

“Went to the Temple and was baptized [for] some of my dead friends.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 25 Apr., 1882)

6 May:  Preparations for endowment.

“Brother [Abraham O.] Smoot [Stake President] gave general directions as to how people should be prepared to go through the house of the Lord to get Endowments.  ‘Should be ordered [ordained?] to the office of an elder before starting.  Should be clean in their bodies and clothing, with under clothing and robe of their own.”  (Oliver B. Huntington journal, 6 May, 1882)

12 May:  Training of volunteer temple workers.

“Your letter of April 22nd arrived in good time, but I have not been able to answer before.  In the first place I will say that we are calling for some Missionaries, perhaps 20men, and as many women, to go to St. George at the opening of the temple in Sept., to learn to work in the temle so that they can be prepared to work in the temple at Logan at the commencement of work there.  Among the rest we are going to send Samuel Roskelley to work with you for awhile so as to be able to take charge of the records at Logan when they open.  He will be able to help you on the records through the winter, and at the same time we want you to give him what information you have so that he will be qualified to take charge of the records of that temple.  Pres. Taylor’s been sure that we should have volunteer companies prepared to work in all our temples as the general workers, except the presidents, secretaries, engineers, etc.  Some of the leading men whohave to be stationeryof necessity must be under pay.  At the same time it is not always the case that volunteers would be suitable persons to work in the temple.  There wouldhave to be discretion used in the balance of people for that purpose.”  (Wilford Woodruff [SLC] to Moses Franklin Farnsworth [St. George], 12 May, 1882; in Our Pioneer Heritage 3:195-196, 1960)

15 Jul.:  “Masonry had been taken from the Priesthood.”

“The Prophet Joseph after becoming a Mason said that Masonry had been taken from the priesthood.  In Nauvoo I was acquainted with the widow and daughter of [William] Morgan who exposed Masonry.  I remember once when but a young girl, of getting a glimpse of the outside of the Morgan’s book, exposing Masonry, but which my father always kept locked up.”  (Helen Mar Whitney [Heber C. Kimball’s daughter], “Scenes and Incidents in Nauvoo,” Woman’s Exponent 11(15 Jul., 1882):26; quoted in BYU Studies 15(4):459, Summer, 1975)

26 Jul.:  “Endowments = United Order.”

“[At a meeting at Council House] the subject discussed was the United Order, and a number of the brethren expressed their views concerning it.  Uncle Angus [Cannon} in conclusion remarked that all who had received their endowments, had entered into that order.  We should be prepared at all times to turn over all we possess to the church.”  (Abraham H. Cannon diary, 26 Jul., 1882)

1 Aug.:  Baptism for the dead.

“A prominent feature in the plan of redemption is the vicarious nature of the labors of Christ and His ministers for the salvation of men.  In His death and resurrection, Christ did that for men which they could not do for themselves.

In all dispensations of the holy Priesthood it has been the duty of those officiating in its ordinances to act for others when they could not act for themselves.  Under the Mosaic law, the tribe of Levi was set apart to make it the special business of their lives to understand its ordinances and ceremonies, that they might be capable of acting in behalf of the people who were engaged in the ordinary avocations of life.  This labor was accepted by the Lord, in behalf of the people, as though they had done it for themselves.

The ordinances described in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus, which the high priest was required to perform as an atonement for the sins of Israel, clearly illustrate this principle.  It says of the scapegoat: ‘And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness.’ (Leviticus, xvi. 21).

This confession of the sins of the people by the high priest, was a vicarious work.  It was accepted by the Lord as though they had put their own hands on the head of the goat and confessed their sins.  This it would have been quite impossible for them to do.

The vicarious nature of the sufferings of Christ are clearly foretold in the prophetic vision of Isaiah: ‘Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.’ (Isaian, liii. 4,5).

The same prophet speaking further of Christ, says that he should be ‘for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles’ (Isaian, xlii. 6), evidently referring to His earthly mission in which this was literally fulfilled.  At the time when this should take place, there was another labor which He was to perform.  He was ‘To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house’ (Isaiah, xlii. 7).

This passage informs us that there was a class of persons who were confined in a dark, benighted prison, who were to be delivered when Christ should be ‘For a covenant of the people, for a light of the gentiles.’

The Apostle Peter informs us that Jesus, between His death and resurrection, when His spirit was departed from His body, went and preached to the spirits in prison: ‘For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison’ (I. Peter, iii. 18, 19).

In the context we are informed that these spirits were those of the people who were disobedient in the days of Noah.

The Apostle Peter had no narrow views of the plan of salvation, for in speaking of Christ suffering, the just for the unjust, he makes no discrimination in favor of the living.  The assertion is sweeping and universal in its application.  Christ died for all.  What profit would Christ’s preaching be to the spirits in prison, unless the way was opened for them to receive the ordinances and blessings of the gospel in common with the living?

Peter positively informs us that the gospel was preached to the dead, and the reason why: ‘For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.’ (I. Peter, iv. 6).  If they are judged according to men in the flesh, it would evidently be unjust if they should not have the benefit of all the ordinances and privileges that pertain to the living.  Then to the question, ‘How can the dead receive the ordinances of the gospel?’ there can be but one answer–by proxy; by the vicarious works of the living.

Not only did Peter assert that the gospel was preached to the spirits in prison, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but the Apostle Paul informs us that the first gospel ordinance of all dispensations–baptism–was administered by proxy among the former-day saints.  Speaking of the resurrection, he asks the Corinthian saints: ‘Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?’ (I. Cor. xv. 29).  That is, of what utility are baptisms for the dead, if there be no resurrection?  This doctrine was evidently neither strange nor new to those to whom the apostle was writing.

Paul further says, ‘For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living’ (Rom. xiv. 9).  If this passage asserts anything it is that Christ died for the dead as well as the living.  Again there is no discrimination made in favor of the living.

Jesus gave some light on this subject when talking with the Jews on marrying and the resurrection: ‘Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.’  ‘For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him’ (Luke, xx. 36, 38).

The following may be inferred from these passages: that notwithstanding men die, they must live unto God through the resurrection.  As a large proportion of mankind have died without a knowledge of the gospel, it is evident that they must have an opportunity of enjoying its blessings in order to live unto God, after they have come forth from the dead.”  (James A. Little, JI 17(15):229, 1 Aug., 1882)

6 Aug.:  Calling of Temple Missionaries.

“also called Elder Samuel Roskelley & wife Margret ” [Elder] Neils C. Edlifsen & wife Mary ” [Elder] Thomas Moore & wife Susannah as Missionaries to labor in the St George Temple during the cominmg fall and winter – all of whom were sustained.  [Ogden Stake Conference, John Taylor presiding.]”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 6 Aug., 1882)

20 Aug.:  Elderly to be called to work in Temples.

“When we build our Temples, what then?  The brethren of the Twelve have been calling some men and women to go and labor in them.  The old men whose heads are whitened with the passage of time are not without zeal, but they have not the strength to cope with the hardships attending a foreign mission; and therefore some of them will be called to minister in Temples.”  (John Taylor, 20 Aug., 1882; DN 31(36):562, 27 Sep., 1882)

25 Aug.:  Details of washing basins in Logan Temple.

“In the afternoon Pres Taylor & Smith decided that both tubs at Logan Temple shall be 6 1/2 feet long for Males and 6 feet long for Females – 24 inches wide at top – 21 inches wide at bottom – 20 inches deep  the flare to be in front – this decision was telegraphed to Logan.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 25 Aug., 1882)

8 Oct.:  Prophecy at dedication of Kirtland Temple.

“Apostle Erastus Snow said: when he was in his 18th year, in the temple at Kirtland, after the ordinance of washing and annointing had been attended to, and the Priesthood were assembled, the spirit of prophecy rested down upon them making known many great and marvelous things.  Among other things that were predicted on that occasion was, that the Prophet Joseph Smith, who was then and there presiding over the Elders of Israel in that house, should be the angel of the Lord spoken of by John the Revelator, the sixth angel that should blow the sixth trumpet, fulfilling that which had been predicted in the Apocalypse.  This prophecy was uttered by a young man filled with the Holy Ghost, who himself was greatly surprised, and marveled and wondered at it, as did many others.  For then in our child-like simplicity and faith and hope we, like the ancient Apostles concerning Jesus, supposed that our Prophet was going to continue with us, to lead us on until the coming of the Savior.  But God had ordered otherwise.  He (the Prophet Joseph) had a work to perform behind the vail, to prepare for the resurrection of the Saints, and the redemption of the dead, and for the glorious coming of the Lord.  And we will yet see and comprehend in the future of eternity that he is the one that holds the Keys of the dispensation of the fulness of times, and of all things pertaining to the redemption of man, in this the sixth thousandth year.  And I testify that this prophecy was given of the Holy Ghost on that occasion.”  (Erastus Snow, General Conference minutes, 8 Oct., 1882; DN 31(38):604, 11 Oct., 1882)

4 Nov.:  Greatest show of power of God since days of Jesus

“I would not be afraid to prophesy, if I were in the habit of prophesying, that the people of this Temple district will be found ready and willing to do all that may be required by way of completing this building [Logan Temple].  And I have not the least doubt in the world–I believe it in full, that angels will minister to the people, and the power of the Almighty will be made manifest to a greater extent than at any other time, or in any other house, since the days of Jesus.  You know how it was in that Kirtland Temple, Jesus the Son of God, appeared in His glory standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, His eyes like a flaming fire, and His hair as white as the driven snow, while His countenance shown like the sun in his brightness.  And those who saw Him testify to this fact, and they describe His voice as the sound of rushing waters, as He said: I am He that was slain; I am He that lives; I am your advocate with the Father.  Your sins are forgiven you.  And He then blessed those who had assisted in building the Temple to His name, and He accepted it at their hands.  And this people will be entitled to those blessings that Jesus in His glory pronounced upon those who aided in building the Kirtland Temple, inasmuch as they contribute in the future as liberally as they have in the past.”  (Lorenzo Snow, 4 Nov., 1882; JD 23:342)

6 Nov.:  No recommend without paying tithing.

“Some seem to forget that if they do not pay tithing, they are not even entitled to a recommend from their Bishop to partake of the general blessings of the Lord’s house.  They do not seem to realize this.  The day is coming when you will want to go into the Temple of the Lord which is now being erected in your city, and receive your ordinances there, the records will be searched to see if you have paid your tithing.  And then you will have occasion for sorrow, and regret if you have not been faithful to this requirement in times of prosperity, and while you could have paid as well as not.”  (Franklin D. Richards, 6 Nov., 1882; JD 23:317)

10 Dec.:  All faithful dead Elders preach to spirits.

“It is our duty to build these temples.  It is our duty to enter into them and redeem our dead.  Joseph Smith is preaching to the spirits in prison; so are all the Elders who have died in the faith.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 10 Dec., 1882; JD 23:331)

10 Dec.:  Posterity have responsibility for temple work.

“Joseph Smith and others cannot baptize the spirits in water, it is not the law; but their posterity, their sons and daughters who are living in the last dispensation, are expected to go into these temples and there redeem their dead.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 10 Dec., 1882; JD 23:331)

How we become Kings and Priests.

“Hence, while they are saviors, preach to the spirits in prison and judge the dead, we build temples and administer for them upon the earth, and thus become, as it is written, “saviors upon Mount Zion,” operating and co-operating with the Priesthood behind the veil, in the interest, happiness, salvation and exaltation of the human family. Thus shall we also become legitimately and by right through the atonement and adoption, Kings and Priests—Priests to administer in the holy ordinances pertaining to the endowments and exaltation; and Kings, under Christ, who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to rule and govern, according to the eternal laws of justice and equity, those who are thus redeemed and exalted. * * *

“For this Melchizedek was ordained a priest after the order of the Son of God, which order was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life. And all those who are ordained unto this priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually.” (I.V. Heb. 7)

In Genesis, inspired translation, chapter xiv, it is also stated regarding Melchizedek:

“Thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, it being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father, nor mother; neither by beginning of days, nor end of years; but of God. And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself, that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have [the sealing] power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course, to put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God, which was from before the foundation of the world. And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace, and his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken; separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter-days, or the end of the world, and hath said, and sworn with an oath, that the heavens and the earth should come together; and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire. And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace.”

From the above it would seem that this people possessed the power of Translation, and that they “obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken,” or which was before translated.

The principle of power also over the varied creations of God, above spoken of, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood after the order of the Son of God, has, by faith, been manifested to the world in the lives and actions of numbers of the servants of the Most High. The power of Enoch, wherein he caused the earth to tremble, whilst mountains fled at his command, and rivers were turned out of their course, has already been referred to. By this power, exercised in mighty faith, Melchizedek stopped the mouths of lions and quenched the violence of fire [I.V. Gen 14:26]; by it the waters of the Red Sea were divided by Moses, and the children of Israel passed through dry shod [Ex 14:21]; by it Elijah [2 Kings 2:7-8] and Elisha [2 Kings 2:14] smote the waters of the Jordan and crossed on dry land; by it Daniel escaped the ferocity of the lions [Dan 6:16-23], and the three Hebrew children were delivered from the fiery furnace [Dan 3:19-27].

By this same power in the Messianic dispensation the Apostles were delivered from the bonds and imprisonment; by it Paul shook off the viper that had fastened upon his hand [Acts 28:3-6]; by it Philip [Acts 8:39] was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord after he had baptized the Ethiopian eunuch; by it John was preserved when he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil, that it did not hurt him; by it the dead were raised, the lepers cleansed, the sick healed, devils cast out, and other mighty works performed by Jesus and His disciples; and by it Christ broke the bands of death and became the resurrection and the life, the first fruits of them that slept, the conqueror of death, the Savior of the world and Redeemer of mankind.

Again, on this continent, one of the Nephite Prophets, Jacob, the son of Lehi, records: “We truly can command in the name of Jesus, and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.” (Jacob, 4:6). By faith the brother of Jared, who held this power, said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove; and it was removed [Ether 12:30]; by it Alma and Amulek caused the walls of the prison in Ammonihah to tumble to the ground [Alma 14:26-29]; by it Nephi and Lehi wrought the surpassing change upon the Lamanites that they were baptized with fire and the Holy Ghost [Hel 5:43-49]; by it Ammon and his brethren wrought so great a miracle in the conversion of the Lamanites [Alma 17-27]; and by it also the disciples of Jesus who tarried amongst the Nephites showed forth the power spoken of in the following passage:

“Therefore they did exercise power and authority over the disciples of Jesus who did tarry with them, and they did cast them into prison; but by the power of the word of God, which was in them, the prisons were rent in twain, and they went forth doing mighty miracles among them. Nevertheless, and notwithstanding all these miracles, the people did harden their hearts, and did seek to kill them, even as the Jews at Jerusalem sought to kill Jesus, according to his word; and they did cast them into furnaces of fire, and they came forth receiving no harm; and they also cast them into dens of wild beasts, and they

did play with the wild beasts even as a child with a lamb; and they did come forth from among them, receiving no harm.” 4 Nephi 1:30-33.

This same power has also been abundantly manifested in these latter days in the midst of the Saints of God, in deliverances from evil, in escapes from enemies, in the quelling of mobs, in the stilling of the angry waves of the sea, in the healing of the sick, in the casting out of unclean spirits, and in many other miraculous manifestations of the power and goodness of God, and of the authority with which He has invested His servants who are endowed and clothed upon with the Priesthood, which is endless and after the order of the Son of God.”  (The Mediation and Atonement, pp. 84-87, 158-59; 1882 edition; 1973 photomechanical reprint; by President John Taylor.)