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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1883

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1883.” You can view other years here.

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1883:  4 Feb.:  Immensity of temple work during Millennium.

“[Erastus Snow] Showed the immenceity of the work during the Millenium of rearing thousands of Temples and ministering in them for our dead Kindred, having Heavenly Visitors to help us in tracing up our ancesters and helping us to put in the missing links, that the grand chain Might be complete in every family.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 4 Feb., 1883)

22 Feb.:  Meeting in Endowment House to baffle enemies.

“President Taylor told me upon my return that, on the 22d of February, feeling exercised in his mind about our political affairs, and that it was a time of peril, he called a few of the brethren together and they met at the Endowment House according to the holy order, and besought God, in the name of Jesus, to baffle the plans of our enemies and frustrate them in their designs, and put them to confusion and shame.  In watching Senator Edmunds that evening, I thought that if ever there was a man confused, chagrined and confounded at the futility of his own attempts, it was he.  And there is no doubt in my mind that the prayers of President Taylor and the brethren ascended favorably unto the ears of the God of Sabaoth, and were heard and answered.  The dreadful wrong was defeated and failed, and it may be said, it met with its death blow; for every attempt afterwards made to bring it up, was unsuccessful.  In this way God has wrought out deliverance for Zion.”  (George Q. Cannon, 18 Mar., 1883; JD 24:63)

26 Feb.:  Sealing of man and daughter to Geo. Q. Cannon.

“A Scandinavian residing in this place [Fillmore] tells me that his dead daughter has been sealed to Father [George Q. Cannon], and he himself desires to be adopted by Father.  This will make a rather peculiar relationship.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 26 Feb., 1883)

Mar.:  Recollection of John E. Page’s wife.

“In answer to questions touching the Nauvoo and Utah Endowment, Sister Eaton of Independence, Missouri, the wife of Apostle John E. Page in the days of Joseph the Seer, and after, says:

Any other secret order, {than Masonry}, grips, oaths, signs, robes, or tableaux, I never heard of in Joseph’s days; but after his death I lived in Nauvoo in 1845 and 1846, and was taught them under the rule of the Twelve.  I can prove, by some of the covenants we were required to make, that Joseph never originated them.  Mr. Page was with me, and went through the same ceremonies.  The words of our covenants were spoken to us by Brigham.  After we had received the endowment in the temple, as soon as we were alone in our house, Mr. Page said to me, ‘Mary, I tell you that endowment is all of the devil.’  He could not have heard it or polygamy from Joseph. * * * [in published version] I never heard that the church would go to the mountains.  They did not seem to know where to go; for a number of parties went exploring before they decided where to settle for a permanent home.

We were in Pittsburg when Joseph was assassinated.  We could not imagine who would be president of the church.  I heard Mr. Page say he did not know; but he said Brigham had the favor of the church more than Rigdon.  We heard no tradition, or sayings, about Young Joseph.  But sometime after, we heard it was taught he would yet be president of the church, by George J. Adams.

This is good testimony in proving that the Nauvoo endowment was not of God; for John E. Page passed through it, and could make a comparison between that and the one he witnessed ten years before in the temple at Kirtland.  It proves that some of its covenants, {probably among them that which binds the party to avenge the blood of Joseph and Hyrum on this generation.  Ed.}, must have been gotten up since the death of the Seer.

It proves that Apostle John E. Page never heard of Polygamy, nor the said endowment, from Joseph.  It proves that the move to the mountains was not contemplated by Joseph, and it proves that the Twelve did not understand that they, or Brigham Young, were to take the lead of the church after Joseph’s death.  All these things are valuable items for the Saints to know just now.

It is highly probable we shall soon have more and more valuable information on these and kindred points.  Secret things are being revealed, and hidden things are coming to light.”  (W. W. Blair, The Saints’ Advocate 5:295-296, Mar., 1883)

4 Mar.:  Can spirits repent?

“Then can those spirits who hear the Gospel in the spirit world obey the Gospel fully?  Can they believe?  Yes.  Can they repent?  Why not?  It is the soul of man, or the spirit of man in the body, not the body, that believes.  It is the spirit of man in the body that repents.  What is it that obeys the ordinances?  Why, the spirit.  But these ordinances belong to this sphere in which we live, they belong to the earth, they belong to the flesh.”  (Charles W. Penrose, 4 Mar., 1883; JD 24:96)

26 Mar.:  History of the St. George Temple.

“The corner stones were laid on the 10″ day of March, 1873, and labor was continued thereon until/ Jan 1″, 1877, when it was dedicated to God. (See W. Woodruff’s Journal of Jan 1″, 1877, which contains the dedicatory prayers of W. Woodruff, Erastus Snow, and B. Young Jr., also the speech of President Young.). I, Wilford Woodruff, bear testimony, that Prest. B. Young told me to go to work and prepare the Temple for giving Endowments, and I had made the preparations according to his acceptance; and on the 9” of Jan., 1877, we repaired to the Temple and for the first time the ordinance of baptism for the dead was performed in the Temple of St. George. Wilford Woodruff went into the font by the direction of Prest. Brigham Young and administered the ordinance of baptism for the first 140 persons, and confirmed the first person, // Prest. Young laying on hands at the same time. John L. Smith administered the ordinance of baptism for the next 83 persons, making 223 baptisms and confirmations during that day. Wilford Woodruff Confirmed one 1. J. D. T. McAllister confirmed 64, A. H. Raleigh 15, H. W. Bigler 123, and Erastus Snow 20. Susie Amelia Young Dunford was the first baptized and confirmed by W. Woodruff.

Prest. Brigham Young requested me to take charge of the

Temple, which I did. He also requested me to write all the ordinances of the Church from the first baptism and confirmation through every ordinance of the Church. Geo. Q. Cannon assisted some in this writing, and when I had finished it to the satisfaction of the President, he said to me, “Now you have before you an ensample to carry on the endowments in all the temples until the coming of the Son of Man.”

On the 8″ of April, 1877, W. Woodruff was appointed in the public assembly to take charge of the Temple and preside over it, and in private conversation with the President, he said he wanted me to take the whole charge of the Temple and attend to all affairs connected with the endowments, sealings &c. I told him I was not able to go to the altar and do all the sealings as I had injured myself at that labor in the Salt Lake Endowment House. Prest. Young told me to go to work and ordain some men to help me to do the sealing. He told me to set apart J.D.T. McAllister and David H. Cannon for that purpose and, if I needed more, to set them apart. I set apart Br. McAllister to that work April 14″, 1877. I set apart David H. Cannon for the same purpose on the 27th of April. I also set apart James G. Bleak to officiate at the altar some time afterward (I do not recollect the date). (2d March 1881.)

Prest. Young gave me power and authority to give second

anointings and seal women to men as I might be led by the Spirit of God. I parted with Prest. Young for the last time in the flesh at 9:30 A.M. on April 16″, 1877, when he started for Salt Lake City. Brigham Young Jr., was very sick at the time.

When I left St. George, I placed the presidency of the 

Temple in the hands of John David Thompson McAllister, who was to preside over it in my absence.

This is the testimony which I Wilford Woodruff bear to all whom it may concern.

Salt lake City, March 26, 1883.

/s/ Wilford Woodruff.

[The following is in red ink and in the hand of John D. T. McAllister:]

Length of Building 141ft8in

Width ” ” 93 ” 4 “

Height from grade of Gr g 84 feet to top of Parapet.

Tower 31 feet Square, and 175 feet to top of Vane from the ground

The first Main room above the basement is 99 feet by 78 feet

Ceiling is elliptical and the center of the Ceiling is 27 feet high.

The Font room is 35 feet by 40 feet

Number of inside Doors 92. Outside doors 8

Round windows 50. Long windows 58. Extra long 8.

Cost to 31st Decr 1879  $420,941.94

 do ”  ”  ”  1882  457,443.90

 ”  ”  ”  ”  1883  470,394.31

The year 1875 was the largest expenditure $123,433.64

/s/ JDT Mc A.”

(“History of the St. George Temple, Its Cost & Dedication and the Labor Thereon,” LDS Archives, CR 343/19 (vault), 26 Mar., 1883)

20 Jun.:  Baptism for the dead.

“An enquirer asks the Christian Union:

Can you give me any light on the reference in 1 Corinthians xv., 29, to being ‘baptized for the dead?’

To which the answer is given that

Scholars differ; some suppose that it refers to the heathen offering themselves in baptism on account of the triumphant deaths, which they had seen, of unbelievers.  The phrase then would read, ‘What shall they do which are baptized because of the dead?’  Others suppose that it is a reference to a custom which certainly existed at a very early age in the church, of baptizing the living in lieu of the dead.

How much ‘light’ is there in this reply?  Just about as much as is usually shed by modern ‘divines’ upon any subject of theological discussion.  They can tell what scholars think, and give the drift of learned opinions, but have mothing to offer which will satisfy the mind eager after knowledge.  How much better off is the inquirer who propounded the above question since he has received the reply?  He is treated to a sophistical rendering of the text to further puzzle him as to its true meaning, and give him a chance, if he desires, like many orthodox preachers to wiggle out of the plain and simple conclusion to which that scripture leads, but which is contrary to the teachings of all the sects.

There is one valuable admission in the response, that is the acknowledgement of the fact that in the early Christian Church a ‘custom’ certainly existed ‘of baptizing the living for the dead.’  This is qualified though by an after expression to the effect that 

Paul’s reference does not involve any commendation of this custom.

This usage of the Church ‘at a very early age’ which is here denominated a ‘custom,’ is of too much importance to be dismissed with such a title.  The Apostles of Jesus Christ were not commissioned to go to all the world and establish ‘customs’ but to preach the Gospel, baptize believers in the way appointed and shown forth in the pattern set by the Savior Himself and to ‘teach all things whatsoever He had commanded them.’  Jesus did not presume to teach any doctrine of His own but only set forth those things which He had received of the Father.  He did not come to dally with customs and the Comforter which came to the disciples in His stead was to guide them into ‘all truth.’

The ordinances of the gospel taught by Christ and His Apostles were none of them mere customs but essential observances established in the Church under divine commandment.  They were not to be neglected or changed or discontinued.  They were not to be left to the option or opinions of men, but were given for fixed purposes and to be administered according to specified instructions.

Baptism for the dead, alluded to by the Apostle Paul as a support to his argument in favor of the resurrection of the body, was an ordinance in the early Christian Church.  The Christian Union admits as much.  Now is it not likely that the doctrine and ordinances of the gospel as revealed by Jesus Christ were more apt to be correctly taught and attended to then than at a subsequent time, after errors had crept in and the people had turned away their ears from the truth and were turned unto fables, and had ‘hepaed unto themselves teachers having itching ears.’

If baptism for the dead was correct then, it is correct now.  But who in the whole ‘Christian’ world knows anything about it to-day?  The popular preachers of all the sects repudiate the doctrine and strive to get away from the text quoted above by just such sophisms as the Christian Union suggests as a rendering of some scholars.  But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in possession of definite and practical information concerning it.  Not through their scholarship or any great wisdom of their own, but by the revelations of God in the present age.

In fulfilment of the prophecy of Malachi of old, Elijah the prophet appeared to Joseph Smith the Prophet, in the Kirtland Temple, bearing the keys of the turning of ‘the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers,’ which include the baptism for the dead.  The great Prophet of the nineteenth century thus learned the true nature of the doctrine and ordinance, its place and mode of administration, the benefits to be derived by the departed from the ministrations of their living relatives in the Church of Christ, and many things of eternal moment in regard to the redemption of the dead, which we have not space to mention.

It is on this account that temples are being reared in these mountain valleys, in which the living may officiate for the dead in those ordinances which belong to the flesh and cannot be observed in the spirit world, and are yet essential parts of the plan of salvation.  The matter is not left to conjecture, nor contingent upon learned or unlearned opinion.  It is definite and sure as the rock of eternal ages and the works of the Saints in the holy places prepared, as saviors upon Mount Zion, reach within the vail, connect the living with the dead, that the fathers who without us cannot be made perfect may gain the benefits of the Gospel, ‘be judged according to men in the flesh and live according to God in the Spirit.’  It is one of the most glorious doctrines ever revealed to man, and opens up the plan of human redemption with such a flood of joyful effulgence as to fill the heart with thanksgiving and everlasting praise.”  (Editorial, “Baptism for the Dead,” DN 32(22):344, 20 Jun., 1883)

24 Jun.:  The new and everlasting covenant.

“This new and everlasting covenant reveals unto us the keys of the Holy Priesthood and ordinances thereof. It is the grant keystone of the arch which the Lord is building in the earth. In other words, it is that which completes the exaltation and glory of the righteous who receive the everlasting Gospel, and without it they could not attain unto the eternal power and Godhead and the fullness of celestial glory. Now, many may enter into the glory of God, and become servants in the house of God and in the celestial kingdom of God, who are not able to abide this new and everlasting covenant; but as we are told in the Doctrine and Covenants, with them there is an end to their exaltation, but they enter not into the order of the Gods. They cannot progress through the ceaseless rounds of eternity except they abide in the covenant, and abide in the covenant, and abide the law that governs it, and the Lord will not be mocked in these things.”  (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 24:161; Erastus Snow; June 24, 1883.)

2 Aug.:  Endowments, anointings too easy to obtain.

“Prest. Taylor.  The School of the Prophets was organized at a time when the Church was in its incipiency.  The revelation which we have heard read was given in December 1832.  My impression is that the introduction to this School–by the washing of feet and by salutation–would be proper if it has not already been attended to.  There were certain things attended to in Kirtland such as the washing of feet, that are very similar to this, that is, in what was then called the Endowments.  Afterward fuller Endowments were given in Nauvoo, and it may have ben in view of these, the President Young considered it repetition of these matters as unnecessary.  That is, of course, I am not prepared to say.  I do not know how or why President Young arrived at the conclusion he did.  Ordinarily, outside of that we would feel as we do in regard to some of the first principles of the Gospel of Christ namely, that it is necessary to observe all the formulae associated therewith.  Of course it is not for me to say anything else to Prest. Young’s administration in these matters, nor as to what led him to the conclusions he arrived at.  There is one thing however in connection with the administration of the ordinance in Kirtland–it was given, of course, by revelation.  When we received greater Endowments that ordinance seems to have been dispensed with, that is the former one.  I have myself however, had very many misgivings about the departure from any of those ordinances that have been introduced by the Lord.  And I must say, too, that I have had serious misgivings about confering all the blessings and powers of the Priesthood as we do in our Endowments at the present time, upon everybody indiscriminately, that is that is [sic] recommended to as worthy by men sometimes, who themselves are unworthy and who do not comprehend their position; I say I have had serious misgivings as to whether it is proper to confer these blessings on so great a number of people who do not seem to comprehend them and who are not prepared to carry them out.  And if we could only arrive at some form whereby a smaller degree or a portion of the Endowment could be given to parties first; and whether or not that first thing was not the thing that here might be intended I am not present prepared to state.  But I will state that I have frequently reflecting [sic] upon this, thought that the sacred things of God have been handled too loosely and too carelessly, and that they have been made too common.  We do not seem to comprehend their value.  Men may make mistakes and apostatize, and that they have always done it, and that there has always been confusion and difficulty arising from these things, we all know.  The History of the Church is full of examples of this kind.  I have been, as I have stated, of the opinion that if our Endowments could only be given in part instead of as a whole, it would be much better and much safer, and we should thus avoid placing upon the heads of the incompetant people that which they are not prepared to receive and which they seldom live up to.  It has seemed to me always to be tampering with sacred things to thus indiscriminately bestow all the blessings of the Priesthood upon all that come along.  I thought I would mention this among other things, and yet our marriage ceremony itself almost forces us, when a man and a woman get married, to confer these blessings upon them.  Now, whether that ceremony should be performed in another way, and allow people to undergo a probationary state until they will be considered worthy to enter into this everlasting covenant, would be a question for us to consider.  This covenant has been entered into very extensively indeed.  Indeed many people have entered into this marriage covenant and taken upon themselves responsibilities that have brought a curse and destruction upon them.  Therefore, it appears to me these are rather serious questions, and they are at least worthy of our consideration.  Among the ancient Jews they had in their assemblages what they called a Gentile court.  The Gentiles were not permitted to enter into the inner court, and if men were under certain disabilities they were not permitted to enter into the inner court of the Temple and partake with that which were considered faithful Israelites.  There were certain classes among as that would receive certain portions of the law, say the first five books of Moses, the pentateuch.  There were others that would receive everything and were prepared to do everything that the Law of God required.  Now, we have folks in our midst that can only receive a portion of the Gospel and never profess anything else, yet they have gone through these things and have entered into sacred covenants.  There seems to have been distinctions made at all times.  There will be distinctions hereafter in regard to the Celestial, Terrestrial, Telestial and other kingdoms [!].  Why are these distinctions made?  Because if a man cannot obey a celestial law he cannot inherit a Celestial Glory; of a man cannot obey a Terrestrial law he cannot abide the Terrestrial Glory; if a man cannot obey Telestial law he can enter [sic] into a Telestial glory.  And the question in my mind arises whether we ought not to have these kind of distinctions among us.  Certain it is we know that they exist, and that there are certain classes among us that never pretend to fulfill the law of the Gospel.  Some will not even pay tithing.  There are some that do not think they are obligated to listen to counsel.  Brother Cannon has remarked that on several occasions and remarked very correctly–we have people who profess to be church people–that is–a class of men that will abide by counsel, that will live their religion, and keep the commandments of God.  We have another class that will only keep a part of the commandments and reject what part they think proper–a class that will follow their own counsels and pursue their own course.  They are not what you would call Latter day Saints.  They are not fulfilling the Law of the Gospel, nor those principles which were laid down for us to be goverened by.  These are serious matters all of them.  Now, the question arises, what are we to do with them?  We have already re-trenched a little upon some of these things and prevented people who are not considered worthy to be married, or to receive a full endowment to go to the House of the Lord–we have already decided that they may be married by our Bishop, which, I think, is very proper.  This, in my estimation, might be carried very much further.  Instead of taking those that would be considered almost outcasts, instead of taking a great many of those that call themselves ‘Mormons’ and are not–not like men who used to call themselves Jews–for it was said that, all are not Israel who are of Israel; and at the present, all are not Latter day Saints who are called that name.  There are certain men heirs according to the promise.  There are certain men who hdo not have the spirit of the Gospel, and who do not live, or have lived, and never will, in accordance therewith.  There are many who will never get into the Celestial Kingdom of God, if I understand things aright.  Well, now, these are things that demand serious considerations; and while we are desirous of carrying out the will and the word and the law of God, and not stand in the way of many men, or prevent them in anywise from obtaining all the exaltation they are prepared to receive; still the question is, whether it is not necessary for us to tighten up on some of these points, and not place upon people–who may be otherwise good in many respects–responsibilities they do not comprehend, which they are not prepared to carry out.  Allow them, of course, all the advantages connected with the lesser law, but do not permit them to partake of the greater until they show themselves worthy.  The law of God is very strict and very rigid when we come to this higher order, and which is never lived up to.  Now, that is saying a good deal, is it not?  What is the meaning of the signs and the explanation given of them that we receive in the House of the Lord associated with Endowments?  Are they carried out?  When I say, never lived up to, where have they been?  Now, there is something very serious associated with many of those matters.  We read in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants that if a man does so and so after entering into this covenant, he shall be destroyed &c.  As had been read in our hearing, Joseph Smith stated that, ‘if any of them should sin wilfully after they were thus cleansed, and sealed up unto Life Eternal, they should be given over to the buffetings of Satan, until the day of redemption.’  I speak of the importance of these things, and in doing so there is a big field opens before me.  I can see the thing very distinctly.  ‘Now are ye the Sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.’  Then, we are the Sons of God.  What else?  Heirs of God.  What is it to be an heir of God?  Why?  To be an inheritor of his possessions, is it not?  Can you make anything else of it?  I cannot.  ‘Heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.’  In the Book of Doctrine and Covenants we have a confirmation of what is written in this first passage.

‘And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.  And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.  Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.  But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turnesth therefrom, shall have no forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.’

It will be observed from the above that a covenant is entered into.  It takes two parties to make a covenant.  In this case one is our Heavenly Father, the other, those who enter into this priesthood.  It is said God’s covenant cannot be broken; it is also said that ours cannot be broken without incurring certain liabilities.  We may talk about being heirs of God and joint heirs of Jesus Christ, we may talk about all the Father hath is given to us, but if we violate this covenant we shall not have forgiveness of sins in this workd or in the world to come.  We are aiming at a high exaltation and to move on an elevated plane; but that very exaltation implies great responsibilities and while we plume [sic] ourselves as being heirs of God and joint inheritors of all things it is expected of us that we fulfill his law, and keep sacredly our covenants, and that God has as much right to demand of us the fulfillment of our covenants as we have to demand of him that he will fulfill his, and if we expect to derive from the Almighty those great and inestimable blessings he expects us and demands of us that we yield implicit obedience to Him, to his law in all things, temporal and spiritual, and seek to do His will on earth as it is done in Heaven.  Very well, if we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and are allowed to partake of ordinances that are sacred–such as the God’s have partaken of–then, must we after that go to work and join in the follies of the world, and take our own way, and run recklessly and carelessly along and commit all kinds of follies?  We are not prepared to do anything of the kind.  We must not do it; we are placed upon another platform; and God will expect us to walk according to the revelations he has given.  It is not, shall we be prepared to associate with those parties?  And if we are not prepared, shall we be excused if we having the power to bind on earth and it shall be bound in heaven, to seal on earth and it shall be sealed in heaven, to loose on earth and it shall be loosed in heaven–shall we be excused under those circumstances when we go before God our Heavenly Father and find hundreds and thousands perhaps that cannot pass by the angels and the Gods, hundreds and thousands that the guard will not permit to enter into this higher society–the heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.  How foolish we shall looke if we see a train of people standing in this position.  The question wil then arise, who conferred certain blessings upon this wretch and upon the other?  I think we would feel a little ashamed if we were to hear a great number of them get the order; ‘depart from me, ye accursed; I never knew you.’  We should feel ashamed.  We should be considered loose, the same as we consider loose here who tamper with the ordinances of the House of God, or who tamper with the law, whether the law of the land, or the common law of God, or the law of the Celestial Kingdom of God.

Now, I feel that there is a very great responsibility resting upon us in regard to all these matters; and if we are aiming to join in the Church of the First-Born, whose names are written in Heaven, and to associate with the gods and participate with them in the exaltations and glories of the Celestial Kingdom, and are going to drag a lot of unworthy people with us?  They cannot go, and they will not go.  It seems to me, therefore,–I have a strong feeling of that kind–that we ought to straighten up and get things into shape.  Well there is a feeling around among a great many to keep the law of God and to do all that is required of them, yet there are those who do not want to step forward, or to do much more than they have done.  They want to take the world easy and say, ‘Good Lord, and Good Devil, we do not know into whose hand we shall fall; for we have not much faith in God nor in the ordinances of the Priesthood.’  Then, again, there is a class of men who would seek the counsels of the priesthood all the day long if there can be anything made by it–any money in it–they are on the alert and very anxious for the welfare of Israel; but the moment you come to talk about obedience to the Priesthood they are ready to turn around and say, ‘No, I am independent man; and I do not propose to be placed in bondage.’  There is a class of men who have this kind of spirit.  You know it.  It is understood very well.  Now, then, the question is, if we are trying to get into the closer communion with God–which we ought to be–we want to elevate with us a class of men in whom we have confidence–men that when you set them down you will know where to pick them up–instead of elevating men who are all the time catering to the devil, who are covetous and stooping to every kind of meanness and corruption.

Perhaps I have said enough upon this subject.  I could talk for hours upon it.  The field opens up as I go along; but these are some few ideas that may be sufficient for the present to lead us to the conclusion that we ought to be very particular as to those we receive into the Order.  And then the question arises, whether we shall follow the order laid down in the revelation–the order of salutation &c.  My impression is that if you say to a man as he come in, Art thou a brother? and thus and so, I salute you–would not that have a tendency to cause people to reflect a little?  The question, is whether it would not be better to follow that form, and see if we cannot get back to the first principles and carry them outk, and then carry out the other things?  When many of the laws of the Kingdom were first introduced they were, of course, the word and will and law of God; but the lack of knowledge, integrity and fidelity among the saints rendered them for some time inoperative and impracticable; for instance, as the building of the Temple in Jackson County, the carrying into effect the United Order, and other principles; but these were, nevertheless, the eternal truths of God, and were not mistakes made by the Almighty but were calculated to be, ultimately carried out to their fullest extent, and it is for us to approach this consummation as far and as fast as circumstances here permit and the Lord shall indicate.  The matter referred to is one of those things which requires our more serious consideration.  We should not be justified in changing the form of the Sacrament; we would not be justified in changing the form of baptism, nor of the laying on of hands.  Other people thought they were justified in doing so and have done it.  That has landed Christianity where it is.  They have a form–and it is almost false to say that–but it is not the form nor the power.  And while I would not wish myself to be hypocritical and too technical–I do not believe in technicalities–yet I do believe in the law of God and in the order of God.

President W. Woodruff.  I desire to make a few remarks, with the President’s permission.  The ordinance of washing of feet was introduced by Joseph associated with the School of the Prophets; there was also a washing of feet associated with the Endowments given in the Kirtland Temple which was continued until the time the Saints left ther.  In Nauvoo he introduced the Endowments we are receiving today.

I agree with President Taylor’s views in regard to our giving Endowments.  I do think we should be more cautious and careful who we receive into our Endowment House to give them full Endowments.  With regard to giving a portion thereof, and then letting candidates proving themselves worthy before receiving the rest, of course it is a matter to be left to Prest. Taylor.  I do not believe, however, that a man should be allowed to go into that House, who does not pay tithing, and drinks and curses and swears.

President Taylor.  And breaks the Sabbath day.

President Woodruff.  Yes, Sir; a man who breaks the Sabbath day has no business there.

President Taylor.  There is one thing I desire to mention.  There was very little said about the ordinances there in early days.  It was almost impossible to say anything.  At the time these Endowments were given by Joseph, in Nauvoo, or soon after that, there was the greatest commotion imaginable.  There was not an opportunity to enter into these things, nor to teach them.  And in referring to this School that was established here, I do not wish to reflect upon President Young; I have no such idea in my mind; but I like to look at things as they are and judge of results.  After Joseph was killed things were done in a great hurry.  We worked day and night, giving these ordinances, and many people were administered to in private houses–some right in my own house–when the work in the Temple was shut down.

President George Q. Cannon.  At the time that this washing of the feet was performed by the Savior, it was after the Transfiguration upon the Mount, when, according to our Teachings, Peter, James and John received the authority to preside–received the keys of the Kingdom.  The Savior had been visited by Moses and Elias, and Peter was so delighted, and also the other Apostles, that he proposed to erect three tabernacles,–one for the Savior, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.  We have been told that not only were the keys of the Kingdom given, but there was an Endowment given also.  How full it was of course there is nothing written to show.  But it seems, even after that, that Jesus washed his diciples’ [sic] feet.  Now, whether the washing of feet was suspended by the Endowment or not is a question in my mind, and probably, in all our minds.  But it seems to me clear that after Peter, at least, had received an uncommon bestowal of power at the Transfiguration, that the Savior even after that washed his feet and the feet of the rest and commanded them that as they seen him do so should they do to one another.  It was one of the last ordinances he performed in their midst.  Brother Nuttall whispers to me a thing with which you are no doubt all familiar; that in the washing that takes place in the first endowment, they are washed that they might become clean from the blood of this generation–that is, I suppose, in the same way they are ordained to be Kings and Priests–that ordinance does not make them clean from the blood of this generation anymore than it makes them Kings and Priests.  It requires another ordinance to make them Kings and Priests.  If they fully receive of another endowment, a fulness of that power, and the promises are fulfilled in the bestowal of the power upon them.  This, however, is a question for you, Sir, holding the keys, to decide upon.

The Lord will reveal to you whether there is any propriety in the washing of the feet–whether it has been superseded by the fuller Endowments we have received.

Now with regard to President Young, I have no doubt that the Spirit let hin do as he did, and there were no doubt good reasons for establishing the School in the way he did establish it.  I do not think the time had then come for the establishment of any such order as is laid down in the revelation.

In regard to your remarks respecting the giving of Endowments, I am fully in accord with them.  It is a matter I have thought a great deal about.  Bro. George A. Smith and myself had several conversations with President Young upon this subject.  It was very strongly urged that there should be a division in the Endowments, and I have no doubt that the Lord will yet through you reveal to us what shall be done about the matter.  It is as clear to me as the light of the Sun that there is a necessity for such a division.  We have been carrying things on a very crude manner for many years.  Joseph in his haste to get the Apostles and other Elders their Endowments bestowed everything he had received upon them.  Being pushed, as it were by the Spirit and the exigencies of the times, he bestowed these things in their fulness upon the men whom he selected.  In like manner, when the Temple at Nauvoo was completed, the Apostles (being in a hurry and the mob crowding upon us, and having to leave Nauvoo very quickly,) bestowed in like manner upon the people everything that had been received from the Lord.  What has been the result?  Why, we see that things of God have become too common.  Our Endowments have become lowered to an extent that, to a man who appreciates their solemnity and importance, must look at at it with pangs of sorrow to see the lightness to which these matter[s] are treated.  Men go into the Endowment House and come out of it as if it were some place of amusement.  Now, there is nothing in my mind more clear than this: when you bestow blessings, however great they are, and make them easy to be obtained, and make them common, you reduce their value in the eyes of the people.  They are easily obtained and therefore are to be considered of triifling importance.  A man gains the favor of his Bishop, and without any previous trial, without going through any test, he is permitted to go into the House of the Lord and receive his Endowments, and in many instances, men receive their Second Endowment in the same way.  Now, I do not know, by my experience of human nature and as a human being that anything of that kind treated in that way does not have the effect upon men’s minds that it should have.  It seems to me that there should be something for the people to live for, there should be something to struggle for, and that something must be kept before them.  But you bestow everything upon them to begin with and the human mind is gratified and satiety ensues; there is not that insentive to faithfulness in the future; there is not that reward to look forward to; the insentive is taken away by the whole blessing having been bestowed too soon.  I could cite many instances of that kind.  I remember my own case.  I came home from a 5 years’ mission in the Sandwich Islands.  I had been as faithful as I knew how, I was engaged to a young lady and expected to get married.  I was anxious of course that I should be married for time and eternity in order that my offspring might be born under the covenant.  I got home and spoke to President Young on the subject.  I asked him if he had any objection to my taking a wife.  He asked me who I was going to marry; and upon his offering no objection, I stated that it would give me pleasure if he would perform the ceremony.  ‘Well, George,’ said he, ‘I shall only marry you for time.’  I felt as though I would like it the other way; but I did not feel to question the decision of a Prophet of God.  Well, he married me for time.  I had had my endowment; my wife had not, and I supposed that was the reason.  Now, what was the effect this had upon me?  The effect it had was to drive me to the Lord.  I had not attained to the blessings that I wanted and therefore I felt to contend for them.  When the Endowment House was completed I then had my wife sealed to me for time and eternity.  I appreciated that blessing then–after living in the other condition for five months–as I would not have done in the beginning.  I placed a value upon it, struggled for it, plead for it.  And in like manner I exercised faith that I might receive my Second Endowments.

Well, understanding this in my own life is a living proof to me of the value of having something to look forward to–something in reserve.

This difficulty of a division of the Endowments presented itself, as I have said to President Young and President George A. Smith, and I think the Lord will reveal a way that will make this plain.  By giving the Lesser Priesthood with the first key, and then let him magnify his position until he received the second key, and so on until he received the third key, I believe it would lead to the happiest results.  Here are men who have received a fulness of the Priethood, emn who, for some reason or other, are not obedient to the Priesthood; they do not care anything about the Priesthood, and the result is that in all our counsels and in all our places of deliberation we have a class of men if the strict letter of the Law were carried out, would not have any place in our counsels.  The Priesthood has been made too common in that respect.  But if the Priesthood were conferred only upon men according to their faithfulness, if it were shown that there were keys and blessings in reserve for them that could only be attained to by faithfully keeping the commandments of God, I believe it would have the happiest effect upon our people, and especially in the organization of the School of the Prophets if it should be organized.  There is this, too, you would admit a certain number of men, and if you are not careful you will admit a man, it may be whom represents a class of men; and if he is admitted there will be others who will think they ought to be admitted because he has been to the School.  There is need of discrimination to be used in the beginning, it seems to me, to prevent a reoccurence of these things.  And for one, I would not lift up my hand if I had any voice, to admit any man to the School of the Prophets who would not be perfectly obedient to the Priesthood, and who would not be willing to consecrate all he had under the direction of the Priesthood.  A man who cannot do that is not fit, according to my view of the School, to be a member, and I do not think such a man should think himself injured by my voting to keep him out, if he has not done faithfully.  I hope and pray that God will inspire Prest. Taylor about these matters, that he will enable us to establish a correct order of things in relation to them.  I feel that God is with us in this matter, and I feel, too, that it is no longer the mind and will of God that we should bestow all Endowments indiscriminately, as we have been doing, and that in our Temples we should institute a new order of things entirely.

Elder Franklin D. Richards.  I do not feel that it would be wise to take up any further time in consideration of this matter.  I want simply to say, however, that the feelings of my heart attest the truth of the sentiments expressed by President Taylor and President Cannon.  And in regard to this matter of giving ordinances, blessings and Endowments so flush, I guess the brethren have heard me speak in my public discourses of how lavish the Lord has been in bestowing ordinances and blessings upon the people of His Church.  I have felt, however, and have expressed my feelings in President Taylor’s hearing that before long it would be necessary to give endowments in the Lesser Priesthood in some such a way as the matter suggested.  But I feel in this there is a powerful helper, to inspire those who get the lesser Endowment only at a time to faithfulness so as to be counted worthy to get their further endowments.  This is a principle that exists in the Gospel.  Even our Master Jesus had respect to the recompense of reward.  It is natural, beginning with our little children, when we require something done in conformity with our will to hold the hope of receiving a reward; and I do believe that the time is near when the Lord will make it manifest to be the proper way to give a measure of the Endowments first, leading the people to obtain the spirit and power of that measure before other endowments are conferred.  There is such a thing, as has been stated, as being in too great a hurry.  Brother Joseph, however, in the exigencies of the times, was compelled to be in a hurry in regard to these things, for the Church was being driven into the wilderness, and he hastened to confer these endowments, even a fulness thereof, upon all whom he considered worthy.  That some separation was intended would almost appear from the revelation from which the Prophet Joseph gave concerning the City of the New Jerusalem.  We will find there is designated a Temple for the Melchizedek Priesthood and a Temple for the Aaronic Priesthood [was there a differentiation in 1833, or was the distinction made later–i.e., 1835–and applied retroactively to the temple plans?], so that a special provision is made fo rthis special thing–the separation and it would not be difficult now–if the Preisdent felt the moving of the Spirit so to do–to make this distinction by making one Temple for the Aaronic Priesthood and another, say the one at Manti, for the Melchizedek Priesthood.

President Taylor.  Oh no; these Temples are built for the administration of both Priesthoods at the same time.

Elder Franklin D. Richards.  In that case the Aaronic Priesthood could be administered in one portion of the Temple and the Melchizedek in another.  Of course I merely make the suggestion, and do not contemplate that anything will be done in the matter unless the Lord manifests that it is his mind and will so to do.–I have for some time past felt another thing, and particularly since the passage of this Edmunds Bill.  That bill has had this effect: to pick out and sever the brethren who believe in the Celestial order of marriage from those who do not and who are slow to practice it, and it seems to me that this is the Lord’s preparation to bring those brethren to a higher platform.  I expect, however, that the day is not far distant when the Lord will manifest through our President his mind and will concerning all these matters.  My mind is prepared for it.  I think it would be consistent with the spirit and genius of our works; and I look for it in the due time of the Lord.

President Cannon.  Respecting some men I will tell my own feelings.  If I am in the way, if I am unworthy, if it was thoguht I did not magnify my priesthood as I should do; with my present feelings if it were said to me: ‘We cannot permit you to enter the School of the Prophets,’ I would prefer it, rather than that I should be admitted, and then feel that I had been too leniently dealt with, and admitted where I should not have been.  I would rather stay out of any place I am not fitted for, and strive for the help of God to qualify myself for, I think every good Latter day Saint should have the same feeling.  I would like to feel myself so perfectly free and unrestricted, that if a man even though he were an Apostle was said not to live up to his calling as he should to–that that man, if I objected to his name being put down as a member, would not put me down as his enemy; because if such an objection were given against me I would, with my present feelings, submit and strive for the blessing.

President Taylor.  A good many principles have been spoken of here today that lie right at the root of our religion.  And our safety is abiding by the law and word and will of the ordinances of God.  I do not believe in departing from any of them, that is, so far as they are applicable to us.

The meeting then adjourned.

Benediction by President Joseph F. Smith.

John Irvine, Reported.”

(2 Aug., 1883, meeting of 1st Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve; “Salt Lake School of the Prophets Minute Book, 1883,” pp. 12-32)

8 Aug.:  Vicarious ordinances.

“The Christian Union of a recent date copies a portion of an article from this paper on the subject of baptism for the dead, and confesses its continued lack of understanding of ‘what has usually been regarded by Gentile scholars as a somewhat obscure reference to a not very well understood custom.’  Our brief remarks explaining the restoration of the keys by which the mystery has been unlocked, may not have contributed much to the enlightenment of the Christian Union, or to dispel the obscurity that has surrounded the ‘not very well understood custom’ referred to by the Apostle Paul.  And as we would like the editors of the Union and other ‘Christian’ teachers to be better informed upon this important subject we will try to be a little more explicit.

The Union answered a question from a correspondent upon the meaning of the text, 1 Cor. xv, 29 in a very unsatisfactory manner, denoting as much lack of information on the subject as that admitted by the inquirer.  And it will be observed that the Union still refers to the matter in question as a ‘custom’ not very well understood even by the best ‘Gentile scholars.’  The language of the text is:

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?

It is evident from this that the Corinthian Saints of the primitive church understood baptism for the dead better than the resurrection from the dead.  The Apostle used, as an argument in favor of the resurrection which some of the Corinthians seem to have disputed, an ordinance or ceremony with which they were well acquainted.  That the living, in those days, were baptized for the dead is very clear, or the Apostle would not have mentioned it in the above positive manner, and used it as an admitted fact in an argument to establish something in controversy.  It is also certain that the administration of that ordinance has been discontinued in the so-called ‘Christian’ churches, and that modern ministers do not know anything about it.  But if the living were baptized for the dead in the first century, why should not this be done in the nineteenth century?  If it was necessary then, it must be necessary now.

But the Union calls it a ‘custom.’  If it was a mere custom of course its importance is not very great.  But we notice that the Union is in the habit of referring to other ordinances of the religion established by Jesus Christ as ‘customs.’  For this we can find no warrant in the sacred Scriptures.  Baptism was not enjoined by the Savior as a ‘custom.’  He did not come to endorse or approve of customs, but to introduce and make firm those things which he had received of the Father; and in sending His Apostles out to preach the gospel he required them to teach all things whatsoever he had commanded.  The baptism of repentant believers was clearly required as an essential, and there were no non-essentials in the doctrines and ordinances revealed by the great Master.

As it has been with baptism for the dead, so, to some extent, it has been with baptism for the living.  The moderns have lost sight of its import, necessity and true object.  It was administered by John and by the disciples of Christ for the remission of sins, in the form both of a burial and a birth.  The repentant believers and none others were buried from sin in the liquid grave and raised up to newness of life by those who were authorized to use the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.  In later times men who have never been authorized to use those names, administer what they call baptism for various objects in different ways.  Having no right to administer the ordinance at all, it is not strange that they misunderstand it in its application to the living and are in dense obscurity with regard to its administration for the dead.

Referring to the restoration of the keys of Elijah, we stated in our former article, which the Union does not seem to understand, that in the Temple at Kirtland, Ohio, Elijah the Prophet appeared in fulfilment of the prediction of Malachi, and there conferred the keys of the turning of ‘the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.’  This was on the 3d of April, 1836.  The words of the prophet then fulfilled are in Malachi iv, 5, 6.  The spirit and power thus made manifest and the light then revealed, have opened up the preaching of the Gospel to the dead and the administration by the living in their behalf of the ordinances of the Gospel which belong to the flesh.  By this we learn that as Jesus, after his crucifixion, went and preached to the spirits in prison who were disobedient in the days of Noah, so the servants of God who die in this dispensation preach to the inhabitants of the spirit world who did not hear it in its fulness in this life.  The gospel is thus preached to them that are dead, ‘that they may be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.’  1 Peter, iii, 18-20–iv, 6.

The disembodied can hear, believe, repent and serve God, but the earthly ordinances belong only to this sphere and cannot be received in the spirit world.  But the living may stand in the place of the dead and receive the ordinance vicariously.  The place, the mode, the essentials to the proper administration of these ordinances for the dead, were revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith and by him taught to this Church.  We are building Temples in these mountain valleys according to the pattern made known on high, chiefly for the benefit of the dead, because the ordinances in their behalf must be attended to as God has required.  For they are not ‘customs’ but divinely appointed ceremonies, with fixed and definite objects.  We have learned how it is that ‘all men shall be judged by the one gospel;’ how ‘the fathers without us cannot be made perfect;’ how ‘saviors shall come upon on Mount Zion in the last days and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.’  The everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ is not only to be preached to the nations of the living, but to the myriads of the dead.  It is the privilege of the living Saints, who have been baptized into Christ and put on Christ, to represent their ancestors in the earthly ordinances, and thus become saviors of their kindred.  When genealogical records fail, there will be means of information in the Temples of God by which those who hold the keys may learn by revelation that which is lacking.  ‘The dispensation of the fulness of times’ now opened, will gather in one all things in Christ in the heavens and on the earth, and complete the work of redemption begun by the Nazarene.  It will not be consummated until every son and daughter of Adam’s race, whether in the world or out of the world, has heard the glad tidings that Jesus was given as ‘a ransom for all,’ and that the one path of salvation is open, though it is strait and narrow; nor until ‘every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.’

If the Christian Union does ‘not understand what baptism for the dead means any better than before,’ we are very sorry for its obscurity of mind.  For a comprehension of this broad and almighty plan for the redemption of mankind of all ages and conditions by the same method, is fraught with so much satisfaction and fulness of joy that we desire all people to participate therein.  However, we can scarcely expect that those who have not yet received the divine message of the last dispensation for themselves, will be able to grasp its full meaning in reference to the dead.  But we testify in all solemnity that God has revealed this glorious gospel of redemption for the dead as well as for the living, in the present age of doubt and agitation.  That the good work is going on.  That the humble in many lands are receiving the truth.  That saviors are coming up to Mount Zion.  That the living are being baptized for the dead.  That the lost communication with the heavens is restored.  That the holy Apostleship is again on earth.  That the Lord has set His hand to fulfil the words of the Prophets, and that the Kingdom of God is here to be thrown down no more for ever.

There is but one true Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ.  It is no narrow, contracted human creed or institution.  It was ordained before the world was, to meet the needs of the tribes of earth in all their varied conditions.  But it is fixed and definite in its requirements, and all who wish to receive its benefits must comply with its laws and ordinances.  ‘Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God,’ is a decree that cannot be broken.  Every soul must have the opportunity of receiving or rejecting the everlasting covenant, and means are provided for the solemnization of al needful ordinances to initiate the willing and obedient into the kingdom and glory of our God.  Let all who love the truth and desire the salvation of the race ponder on these things, and if they will inquire of God in faith they will learn that this testimony is true and faithful, and be led into such light and knowledge that their future lives will be full of gratitude and rejoicing.”  (Editorial, “Vicarious Ordinances,” DN 32(29):454, 8 Aug., 1883)

12 Aug.:  Sealed up to eternal life.

“When he [Brigham Young] sealed a man up to eternal life, he bestowed upon him the blessings pertaining to eternity, and to the Godhead, or when he delegated others to do it in his stead, God in the eternal world recorded the act; the blessings that were sealed upon that man or that woman, they were sealed to be binding in this life, and in that life which is to come; they became part of the records of eternity, and would be fulfilled to the very letter upon the heads of those upon whom they were pronounced, provided they were faithful before God, and fulfilled their part of the covenant.”  (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 24:274-75; Delivered in the Tabernacle in Logan, Utah; Sunday, August 12, 1883; Entitled: “The Latter-Day Saints Aspire to Celestial Glory, etc.”; Given by George Q. Cannon.)

12 Aug.:  Power to be manifested in new temples.

“We have this Temple (Logan) nearly completed.  That at Salt Lake is progressing very rapidly, that at Sanpete also.  And the build of these Temples will bring about, to a certain extent, a change among this people.  Blessings are to be bestowed, and power is to be manifested in these buildings in my opinion such as has never been manifested among us as a people before.”  (George Q. Cannon, 12 Aug., 1883; JD 24:277)

12 Aug.:  Must be subject to authority to enter temples.

“Who are going to be worthy to enter into these buildings?  With my feelings to-day I never can consent for any man to go in and receive a fullness of the blessings of the everlasting Gospel in that building or those buildings, unless I know him to be a man who is willing to yield implicit obedience to the Priesthood of the Son of God.  And further, I am not willing, with my present feelings–I do not pretend to dictate in this matter, I am merely stating my own personal feelings–for any man to go into these buildings who is not willing to hold all he has got subject to the Priesthood of the Son of God, and be willing to do with it as that Priesthood shall dictate.”  (George Q. Cannon, 12 Aug., 1883; JD 24:277)

14 Aug.:  Argues for discrimination in temple blessings.

“I desire to see the time come when unworthy persons cannot get their endowments and a fullness of the blessings of the everlasting Priesthood.  I desire to see some test of faithfulness, some test of growth, and some degree of reward, so that all will not be reduced to one common level, the faithful and the unfaithful, those that are willing to do all that God requires, and those that are not willing–I do not desire to see all endowed with the same blessings.  I do not believe that God ever intended this.  He has told us there are different degrees of glory,–‘one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.  So also is the resurrection of the dead.’  I would like to see some difference here.  I believe it will come.  I believe God will move upon His servant in His own due time to make the necessary regulations to effect this.  There are men who have been faithful all their lives, who have done everything that it is possible for men to do, and there are others who have been indifferent, and who have had their own way, and carried out their own mind, yet all come along and get the same blessings without any distinction whatever.  There is not much encouragement, it would seem, under those circumstances, for the faithful.  And yet there is, for there are degrees of reward in heaven; but then we may as well begin to have some of them here.”  (George Q. Cannon, 12 Aug., 1883; JD 24:277-278)

2 Sep.:  Who shall enter these Temples when completed?

“We are building Temples.  Who shall enter these Temples when completed?  Shall the adulterer?  Shal the whoremonger?  Shall the thief?  Shall the drunkard?  Shall the blasphemer?  Shall the Sabbath breaker?  Shall the men who defile themselves by the sins of the world enter therein and receive all those precious blessings that God has to bestow?  Ask yourselves who shall enter therein.  I tell you, my brethren and sisters, that God demands of us a holiness of life that we cannot conceive of at the present time; but there are duties we can conceive of, that we should attend to.  We should put away sin far from us.  We should live so that our God will be very near to us.  And we should encourage faith in our hearts.”  (George Q. Cannon, 2 Sep., 1883; JD 25:1-2)

27 Sep.:  Washing of feet, other items.

“As per action of meeting held Sept. 22nd 1883.  The First Presidency and Apostles met at the Office of President John Taylor at 3 o’clock P.M.  Present: Presidents John Taylor, George Q. Cannon, Apostles W. Woodruff, L. Snow, E. Snow, F. D. Richards, A. Carrington, B. Young, M. Thatcher, and H. J. Grant.  Secretaries L. John Nuttall and George Reynolds.

President John Taylor stated the object of the meeting to be, to give further consideration of the organization of the School of the Prophets.

The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday August 2nd 1883, also on Saturday September 22nd 1883, were read by Secretary Nuttall.  During the reading of the minutes, President Joseph F. Smith and Councillor Daniel H. Wells came in.

At the close of the reading President Taylor asked the brethren to make such remarks as they felt to do on the subject before the meeting, and Elder John Irvine was invited in to fully report the remarks made by the brethren.

President Wilford Woodruff.  I want to ask questions of Brother Erastus Snow.  He has been listening to the remarks which have been made here, and I believe he is the only man in this room who was in the Temple in Kirtland at the introducing of the first Endowment, I want to ask Brother Snow if he was present on any occasion.  Apostle Erastus Snow answered in the affirmative. President Woodruff:  That is one question I desired to ask.  Then again I wanted to ask with regard to the principle of the washing of the feet, whethe rhe has any recollection of any special teachings of Brother Joseph Smith on that subject.  They commended introducing the washing as I understood, in the School of the Prophets, and it was continued through all our Endowments the following year,–in fact as long as we were received in companies.  That is the question that I wanted to ask if it could be answered in a few words.

Apostle Erastus Snow.  Before the main room of the Kirtland Temple was completed, while the carpenter work was being finished and painted, and the veils being put in place–some weeks previous to this a room for the School was finished–a west room of the attic, which was dedicated for the meeting of the Elders that should be invited by the Presidency of the Church in which to receive special counsels and instructions, and in this room there were rules and regulations governing the House were formally presented and accepted and adopted.  It was in this west room of the attic that the Prophet first introduced and administered the ordinance of anointing the head.  I was not present at the time.  I was only a youth and had onlyi been enrolled in the Elders Quorum; but I learned that Joseph first anointed his councillors and they anointed him; the Presidency anointed the Twelve, and they the first Seven Presidents of the Seventies, which later were instructed to anoint the members of their quorum, there being at that time only one quorum of Seventies.  This I think was in the later part of February, 1836, and was continued throughout the month of March; but of this I could not be certain without referring to record or Journal.  In the West room of the attic those to whom I have referred received the anointing of the head, and that anointing was sealed upon them by the laying on of hands.  The President of the High Priests Quorum (Brother Don Carlos Smith) and the President of the Elders Quorum (Bro. Alma Beaman) and their councillors were also anointed, and they were instructed to anoint the members of their respective quorums.  These quorums met in turns in that room, and the work was continued until each Quorum was organized all this, as I have said, took place, to the best of my recollection, during the later part of February and the month of March; the work seemed to continue for a month or six weeks before the main room of the Temple was dedicated, which took place on the 27th of March 1836.

President Woodruff.  What I want to get at is when the ordinance of the washing of the feet was first introduced.

Apostle E. Snow.  The introduction of the Washing of the Feet in the Temple, so far as I have any knowledge, was after the dedication of the main room of the Temple, to the best of my knowledge was not introduced in the West room of the attic when the Quorums were organized and the members thereof received their anointings, but after the dedication of the main room, the Priesthood was were [sic] called together in the main room, and the Prophet introduced the ordinances of the Washing of the Feet.  The pulpit erected for the Melchizedek Priesthood was in the West end of that building; the pulpit for the Aaronic Priesthood was in the east end.  The vails were suspended from the ceiling of the main building and let down by means of ropes and pulleys–made to be let down or rolled up from the ceiling to floor.  These vails divided the room into 4 parts.  Then in addition to these there were small vails that could be let down to encircle each pulpit by itself.  First a vail for the upper pulpit for the First Presidency; then another for the next three seats, and then a third; thus dividing the Presidency of each Quorum by themselves when they met in prayer or in consultation.  But when the Priesthood generally were called together in Public Capacity, one vail could be let down cross ways in the center, separating those of the lesser Priesthood from the Melchizedek.  At the tiem we were all invited together to receive the ordinance of the washing of feet, (my present recollection is that) the four principal vails wer let down dividing the room into 4 parts, but this was for convenience rather than to separate the Priesthood.  The ordinance of the Washing of the Feet was performed in each one of these compartments.  In each compartment tubs were provided.  The Prophet first gave general instructions and then the vails were let down, and the ordinance proceeded quietly in all the 4 compartments.

President Cannon.  This ordinance was administered to the Priesthood only?

Erastus Snow.  Yes, to the Priesthood only; there were no sisters present.  The Prophet proceeded to wash the feet of his brethren, then he instructed the different leading Elders to proceed to wash the feet of their brethren, and thus they washed each others feet.

President Woodruff.  This ordinance appears to have been in connection with the giving of Endowments rather than as an introduction to the School of the Prophets.  I would like to ask Brother Snow if there ever was any change in the ordinance, whether there was an ordinance of the washing of the feet as an Endowment, and another as an introduction to the School of the Prophets?

Apostle Erastus Snow.  I did not understand that this ordinance was an introduction to the School of the Prophets.  The salutation contained in the revelation was not made use of.  The Priesthood was called in by a general invitation, and they came in promiscuously.  After receiving general instructions they proceeded to according to instructions given by the Prophet.  The Prophet himself was in the room when I received my washing of feet, and I was present most of the day.  The Prophet went from one room to another while the washing of feet was going on; and when they all got through the tubs were removed and everything cleaned up.  Then the Prophet blessed the Elders and told them to speak and prophesy and speak in tongues as they felt moved upon by the Holy Ghost.  It was after the Washing of Feet that the Spirit of Prophecy seemed to rest upon the Elders to a considerable extent, and a great many things were spoken by the Elders that appeared marvelous at the time.

President Woodruff.  What I desire to get at is, whether there was any change in this ordinance during the two years it was carried on?  Whether there was an ordinance of washing of the feet in the giving of Endowments, and another for admission to the School of the Prophets?  I made some remarks, at a previous meeting that appear to conflict somewhat with the Washing of the Feet described by Brother Snow, and I do not desire them to so appear.

President Cannon.  Here is the point, I see quite a distinction.  I made use of some remarks as to whether the Washing of Feet in the giving of Endowments superseded the other ordinance.  I do not believe it did.  But to clear the point up, let us ask Brother Snow: Did you not understand then that the Washing of the Feet as a preparatory to admission to the School of the Prophets was an entirely distinct, and in no way connected with the Endowments?

Apostle Erastus Snow.  I so understood.  I did not understand to be a preparatory work either.  I understood it rather as a finishing work, and the words used in most cases according to the best of my recollection, were: ‘I wash you and pronounce you clean from the blood of this generation.’

President Taylor.  Were you in the School of the Prophets?

Erastus Snow.  I do not know that I ever attended anything that was called the School of the Prophets until I attended the School established by President Brigham Young in Salt Lake City.

President Taylor.  The thing is here, Bro. Snow.  There were two things apparently designated.  One in relation to the Endowments, and another in relation to the School of the Prophets.  You received your Endowments in that Temple, didn’t you?

Apostle Erastus Snow.  I received the same Endowment I understood, that was given to the Elders; which is a preparatory Endowment, but the ordinance of the general washing of the body, which was afterwards introduced, was not attended to in the Kirtland Temple.

President Taylor.  No.  I understood that, I received my Endowment also in that House, at the time when the Twelve were on their way to England.  The ordinance that was attended to was precisely that of which you speak–that is, the anointing of the head and the Washing of the Feet, and the pronunciation of being clean of the blood of this generation.  But there seems to be another ordinance associated with the School of the Prophets.  You will remember, however, that soon after these things were introduced in Kirtland a great amount of confusion began to prevail, a spirit of apostasy, to a very great extent, prevailed among the people, consequently a great many of these things had necessarily to be dispensed with.  Furthermore, there were things revealed very frequently–not in their fulness, but still strictly in accordance with the word, and will, and law of God, which were only temporarily entered into and they were unable to perfect those things because of the weakness, and covetousness, and the wickedness of the people.  But those things like other ordinances that were introduced by Joseph–say before the Temple was finished in Nauvoo, were perfect in themselves, and were calculated to be administered to all who were prepared to receive them, but not to everybody, and that is where the thing comes in.  Now, then, as regards to the question touched upon here, pertaining to the Washing of Feet and the anointing of the head, and in the Endowments–the Endowments certainly were not the School of the Prophets; the School of the Prophets was not the Endowment; the order was different.  You did not, when you had your feet washed, partake of the Sacrament did you, Bro. Snow?

Apostle Erastus Snow.  To the best of my recollection we partook of the Sacrament in the evening, but none but the Elders were present; but whether it was in the evening before the Washing of the Feet or the evening after I am not prepared to say.  I think it was the evening after we had got through with the Washing of the Feet.  That there was not a School organized according to the revelation, and which during this period and afterwards, I am not prepared to say, because as I have said I was a mere boy at the time.  The fact of I never attending such School is no evidence it did not exist.

President Taylor.  There was a School of the Prophets in Kirtland.  There was also one in Jackson County, Missouri.  We are not told precisely who presided over the one in Kirtland, but the information is that Joseph presided over, and that Elder Parley P. Pratt presided over the School in Jackson County.

Apostle Erastus Snow.  I understand, President Taylor, that the School of the Prophets had been in existence two or three years before we received this Washing of the Feet to which I alluded. I had heard of it and had read the revelation, and understood that such an order existed, but I never attended any meeting of the School until I attended the one established in Salt Lake, I did not understand that this Washing of Feet was identically the same with the ordinance for admission to the School of the Prophets.  I understood it to be something extra.  I did not understand this Washing of Feet to be an introduction to the School of the Prophets.

President Cannon.  That is the point we wanted to draw out.

President Taylor.  When you received this Washing and Anointing it was an Endowment, was it not?

Apostle Erastus Snow.  Yes, a portion of the Endowments; that is what I meant by saying it was a finishing work, because it was the last.

Apostle F. D. Richards.  The fact that the School of the Prophets was organized in 1833, would lead us to pre-suppose that this ordinance, of which Bro. Erastus has spoken, was not intended as a preparatory ordinance for admission to the School.  The School had been established about three years before this Endowment was given.

President Joseph F. Smith.  There are some remarks by the Prophet in relation to this subject to be found in the 15th Vol. of the Millennial Star.  I think it would be well to have these remarks read.

The 15th Vol. of the Star having been procurred, Bro. George Reynolds read the remarks referred to.  They are to be found on page 423, and are as follows:

You want to know many things that are before you, that you may know how to prepare yourselves for the great things that God is about to bring to pass.  But there is one great deficiency or obstruction in the way, that deprives us of the greater blessings; and in order to make the foundation of this Church complete and permanent, we must remove this obstruction, which is, to attend to certain duties that we have not as yet attended to.  I supposed I had established this Church on a permanent foundation when I went to Missouri, and indeed I did so, for if I had been taken away, it would have been enough, but I yet live, and therefore God requires more at my hands.  The item to which I wish the more particularly to call your attention to-night, is the ordinance of washing of feet.  This we have not done as yet, but it is necessary now, as much as it was in the days of the Savior; and we must have a place prepared, that we may attend to this ordinance aside from the world.

We have not desired as much from the hand of the Lord through faith and obedience, as we ought to have done, yet we have enjoyed great blessings, and we are not so sensible of this as we should be.  When or where has God suffered one of the witnesses or first Elders of this Church to fall?  Never, and nowhere.  Amidst all the calamities and judgments that have befallen the inhabitants of the earth, His almighty arm has sustained us, men and devils have raged and spent their malice in vain.  We must have all things prepared, and call our solemn assembly as the Lord has commanded us, that we may be able to accomplish His great work, and it must be done in God’s own way.  The house of the Lord must be prepared, and the solemn assembly called and organized in it, according to the order of the house of God; and in it we must attend to the ordinance of washing of feet.  It was never intended for any but official members.  It is calculated to unite our hearts, that we may be one in feeling and sentiment, and that our faith may be strong, so that Satan cannot overthrow us, nor have any power over us here.

The endowment you are so anxious about, you cannot comprehend now, nor could Gabriel explain it to the understanding of your dark minds, but strive to be prepared in your hearts, be faithful in all things, that when we meet in the solemn assembly, that is, when such as God shall name out of all the official members shall meet, we must be clean every whit.  Let us be faithful and silent, brethren, and if God gives you a manifestation, keep it to yourselves; be watchful and prayerful, and you shall have a prelude of those joys that God will pour out on that day.  Do not watch for iniquity in each other, if you do you will not get an endowment, for God will not bestow it on such.  But if we are faithful, and live by every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God, I will venture to prophesy that we shall get a blessing that will be worth remembering, if we should live as long as John the Revelator; our blessings will be such as we have not realized before, nor received in this generation.  The order of the house of God has been, and ever will be, the same, even after Christ comes; and after the termination of the thousand years it will be the same; and we shall finally enter into the celestial kingdom of God, and enjoy it forever.

President Taylor.  There is an important item.  Read the last two or three sentences over again.

Brother Reynolds read:

The order of the house of God has been, and ever will be, the same, even after Christ comes; and after the termination of the thousand years it will be the same; and we shall finally enter into the celestial kingdom of God, and enjoy it forever.

You need an endowment, brethren, in order that you may be prepared and able to overcome all things; and those that reject your testimony will be damned.  The sick will be healed, the lame made to walk, the deaf to hear, and the blind to see, through your instrumentality.  But let me tell you, that you will not have power, after the endowment to heal those that have not faith, nor to benefit them, for you might as well expect to benefit a devil in hell as such as are possessed of his spirit, and are willing to keep it: for they are habitations for devils, and only fit for his society.  But when you are endowed and prepared to preach the Gospel to all nations, kindreds, and tongues, in their own languages, you must faithfully warn all, and bind up the testimony, and seal up the law, and the destroying angel will follow close at your heels, and exercise his tremendous mission upon the children of disobedience; and destroy the workers of iniquity, while the Saints will be gathered out from among them, and stand in holy places ready to meet the Bridegroom when he comes.

President Taylor.  The Prophet speaks there as if the then Twelve were to bind up the testimony and seal up the law, etc.  Whereas, they are nearly all dead.  But that was not toa be done by them, for the time had not come; but has to be done by the same priesthood, when the time does come.  I will tell you another thing that I have had come to me very often while I have been preaching.  In speaking about the prosperity of the work of God and the rolling forth of Zion, I have been led to say, ‘Woe! Woe! to them that fight against Zion.’  That is in strict conformity with what has first been read.  The Lord will handle them by and by.

After some further conversation on this matter, President Taylor said: We have met now to talk about the School of the Prophets.  We have taken some preliminary steps in relation to it, and if any of the Twelve have any remarks to make or light to throw upon the subject, there is now full opportunity to speak, so that we may come to some action in relation to this matter.

President Woodruff.  I wanted to make some remarks at the proper time in regard to myself–my standing and position and to inquire if there was any objection to my being a member of the School.

President Cannon.  Thought it would be better to first accept the minutes which had been read, and then as members were proposed and accepted, they could be recorded as the acceptance of the First Presidency had been.

President Taylor inquired if they were prepared to vote on the acceptance of the minutes and the principles contained therein.

Apostle F. D. Richards was quite prepared to vote but would humbly ask that, before the question was put another word might be inserted in his remarks for the word ‘Polygamy.’  That was a Gentile word, and he would rather have another word inserted–say Patriarchal or Celestial marriage.

President Taylor said that the alteration would be made as requested.

Councillor Daniel H. Wells was ready to vote on the acceptance of the minutes as a report of the meeting; but as to the change in the giving of Endowments, was that to be accepted without further discussion?

President Taylor.  What is contained in the minutes in regard to them is simply an expression of opinion.

Coun. Wells.  What I wanted to get at, in accepting these minutes we do not vote to accept a change in the plan of giving Endowments.

President Taylor.  There is no change of plan contemplated at all, further than to give a portion of Endowments at a time, and another at another time.  But we have not arrived at that point yet.  The question is merely as to accepting the minutes as far as we have gone.

Coun. Wells.  There is this difficulty which presents itself to my mind.  Persons do not get sealed until they are ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood.  But persons getting the lesser priesthood might want to take a wife.  Now, in this case, would they be entitled to the same sealing ordinances?

President Taylor.  They would not have the priviledge at first.

Coun. Wells.  Bro. Cannon has stated in his remarks that he was first married for time.  But there is this objection arises in my mind.  A person who is not sealed according to the order of the Holy Priesthood, his children are not legal heirs to the Priesthood.  Hence, where people are married for time, I do not understand their children would be legal heirs to the Priesthood, and consequently would have to be adopted.

President Taylor.  That is correct.  We understand these things.

Coun. Wells.  Pres. Young thought probably the time would come when the First Endowment could be given to the lesser Priesthood in a garden where there would be trees, and then let those receiving this first Endowment go on and prove themselves for a while; but this question of marriage and sealing for time and eternity, and the heirship of children always came in as an objection to separating the Endowments.

President Taylor.  Yet you know, and I know, and we all know that there are very great many of our people who are living and probably never will live in a way to secure Celestial Exaltation.  It is not because they are Latter-day Saints that they are going into the Celestial Kingdom.  It is not everyone that saith ‘Lord, Lord,’ that is going into the Kingdom of Heaven.  We find a great many incompetant people in our midst, and I suppose it is proper there should be for a time being; we are told the tares have to grow with the wheat until the harvest, at the same time we should not be very anxious for the tares to be mixed up with the wheat, especially if we want to accomplish any special purpose.  And concerning these things I will mention an incident that will throw a little light on this subject.  One of our brethren–a very good man, (I won’t mention his name)–wanted to know if his son–a very good boy–could have his endowments.  I replied that under the circumstances I would not want my children to have their endowments.  Why not?  Because they would have to take upon themselves obligations and responsibilities which they might not be prepared to fill.  Why not?  I will show you one reason.  Our youth are all the time subject to temptation and are liable to be led astray.  If they should commit adultery or fornication as it may be called, what would be the result?  The result would be that they would have to make acknowledgement before the Church and ask the forgiveness of the Church, and if they were forgiven after making their confession, they would pass, say for the first time; but for the second offense they must be cast out.  That is the way I look upon people who have not entered into this covenant.  When they have entered into the marriage covenant and commit adultery it is said they shall be destroyed.  Now, I would not like to place my children in the position, under these circumstances.  I would much rather they had a chance under the first arrangement of overcoming their weakness, and have a standing in the Church.  I now speak of the laws of God being carried out and we are supposed to carry them out.  I cannot feel in the least to have people who commit adultery continued members of this Church–that is people who have entered into sacred covenants if there is anyway for their redemption it is not made manifest to me.  Furthermore, the law says they shall be destroyed.  I would not want to place responsibilities upon people until their minds and character were mature to enable them to act wisely, prudently, and intelligent, and to magnify their calling.  What is meant then–I am among men who understand these matters–by the passage in the revelation where it says that ‘they that are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder, wherein they shed innocent blood–yet shall they come forth in the first resurrection and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption”?  Well, it is just on the same principle as that Peter spoke of, to people of his day.  He said, ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you:’ Now what woiuld be the law of God if carried out?–What is it to be destroyed in the flesh?  What does that mean?  {Sign of the Priesthood.}  You all know.  What does that mean?  {Another Sign of the Priesthood.}  You all know.  Now if that was carried out—–

Coun. Wells.  Is that what is meant by being destroyed in the flesh?

President Taylor.  I think it would be pretty near.

Coun. Wells.  Well, cutting off the Church don’t pay the penalty.

Prest. Taylor.  Leave them in the hands of God, or in the hands of the devil.

Prest. Cannon.  I have some views on this subject which I would like to give expression to at the proper time.  It is a matter in which I am deeply interested.  I think there is not that harmony of views among us–I do not mean among the Twelve, but among the Priesthood, that there should be, and probably this is because of our not understanding each other.  Some times when it is convenient to Prest. Taylor I would like this subject talked over.  I find a divison of views on prominent men in the Priesthood upon this subject.

Prest. Taylor.  Well, what is the School of the Prophets for?

Prest. Cannon.  Just the thing.

Prest. Taylor.  I will mention another case which will serve to throw a little light upon both points that have been discussed.  There was the case of a young woman who had committed adultery.  When she went through the Endowment House she was about 16 or 17 years of age and did not comprehend the nature of the obligation into which she was entering, which is the position of a great many.  Well, she committed adultery.  The man who committed this act with her stood in another position.  He was more aged and should have understood better, and to know what he was doing.  That man cannot be forgiven.  The other would be considered as non-age.  That is the way I have looked at that case.  She had not arrived at the years of maturity; he had.  In some of these cases there maybe perhaps a change in relation to these matters; but it is a thing—–

Coun. Wells.  the man would be held more responsible anyway.

Prest. Taylor.  It is a thing we should be very careful about.  But I did not make that revelation.  I cannot change it.  I am not authorized to change it.  The law says they shall be destroyed; I cannot say they shall not.  Unless the Lord manifests something to me about things of that sort, I do not feel authorized to go contrary to the word of God on these subjects.  They are very important.  As it is said, in times of men’s ignorance God winked at it.  Now, he calls upon all people everywhere to repent.  I look upon it that we are called upon to carry out the law and will and word of God, and we have no right to change either.  Formerly we are told there were placed in the Church Apostles, Prophets, etc. for the perfecting of the Saints and the edifying of the body of Christ.  But if these laws are not put into execution how is the church to be perfected.  If drunkards, sabbath-breakers, whoremongers, are allowed to carry on their wickedness, how is the Church to be purified?  And who will be responsible for these things?  Those who will permit them.  The Church ought to be purified; we ought to be stepping forward in purity; and seeking to do the will of God on earth as it is done in Heaven.

Upon the question of accepting the minutes of the two previous meetings as read, being presented by Prest. Taylor, all the brethren present voted to approve and accept them.

On motion the meeting adjourned until 10 A.M. tomorrow at the President’s Office.”

(27 Sep., 1883, Meeting of 1st Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve; “Minutes of the Salt Lake School of the Prophets, 1883,” pp. 34-49)

“Friday, Sept. 28th 1883.

The First Presidency and Apostles met as per yesterdays adjournment at the Presidents Office at 10 o’clock A.M.  Present Presidents John Taylor, George Q. Cannon, and Joseph F. Smith.–Apostles W. Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, A. Carrington, B. Young, M. Thatcher and H. J. Grant.  Councillors John W. Young and Daniel H. Wells, and secretaries L. John Nuttall and George Reynolds.

President John Taylor said:  It has been thought proper in having people enter the School of the Prophets that their standing in the Church and suitability for membership therein should first be thoroughly understood, and due precaution is very necessary in all these matters.  The First Presidency have met and upon due consideration have passed upon their own name–and it would be well for the Twelve to take the same course; afterwards as other names are presented, they can be canvassed and properly accepted.  Formerly the Sacrament was administered, and afterwards the Washing of the Feet was attended to, and they who were thus washed were pronounced clean from the blood and sins of this generation.  We are now moving on a higher plane, and are being thus properly organized will put us more in accord with our professions as Latter day Saints.

In reflecting upon these matters I have often had impressions that we should have these organizations in the several stakes, and have proper persons appointed to carry them on, and as Bro. Parley P. Pratt was called in an early day, and labored under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  If we will decide, we can then have these matters properly carried out through the whole church in all its Stakes.

In talking of the Kingdom of God being established upon the earth, will of God being done on the earth as it is done in heaven—as I understand it, if the Kingdom of God is established we must commence among ourselves.

When President Brigham Young organized the School of the Prophets, he called it a theological class, which ws in effect the School of the Prophets, and after running the same for a season, he was compelled–by causes well known to us all–to discontinue them.  Now the question is, shall we commence aright, according to the pattern laid down, and then continue right along without any failures?  For we have a legitimate claim upon our Heavenly Father for his guidance and direction in all our doings; and by calling uon Him we will be enabled to carry out the mind and the will and law of God.

I am called a Prophet of God, also a seer and revelator.  My councillors are also sustained as Prophets, Seers and Revelators, as also the Twelve and their councillors.  Is this a fiction or reality?  Joseph fixed these matters in his day, and they are no fiction.

The Presidents of Stakes are placed in the same position as the Church in Kirtland, when the Prophet Joseph presided over it.  The Presidents of Stakes and their councillors stand in the same relationship to the Stakes, as Joseph Smith and his councillors stood to the Stake in Kirtland, with this difference that their authority extends only to the stake while that of Joseph Smith and his councillors extended to the whole World.–that being the case they would be quite as confident to manage their affairs as we are to manage ours, and they could select that class of men to associate with them, as we have with us, for they have the right to know the mind and will of God in their behalf.

In regard to this school we read that the authority was to extend to the High Priest to the Deacon.  This would embrace all the faithful in Zion.

These Presidents of Stakes shall be directed to thus organize, and if they had access to the First Presidency, or to the Twelve, there would be a connecting link among all the presiding authority of the Church and Kingdom of God on the earth, then they could extend the information received, so far as practicable among all their people.

There are many things which belong properly to the School of the Prophets and which concern the School of the Prophets and none others, and we should fully understand these matters as they are.

Now in our investigations as to each other do not want to have any ill feelings engendered, and in considering the character, do what we do in the spirit of kindness and generosity towards each other, doing all that we do in the fear of the Lord.  Thus we can introduce an order whereby the faithful saints can understand the mind and will of God and then be able to do it.  If you brethren of the Apostles will take among youselves and fully consider these matters, alright.  We do not wish to be present unless you desire,–but when you want to meet with us, we shall be pleased to meet with you.  You can have this office to meet in, or the Social Hall as you may wish.

Bro. W. Woodruff asked what course it would be expected for them to pursue in their talking together.

Prest. Taylor.  Just as you may think best among yourselves.  I do not wish to propose any cast iron rules but leave the matter for your own action.

The meeting adjourned and the apostles retired.”

(28 Sep., 1883, Meeting of 1st Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve; “Minutes of the Salt Lake School of the Prophets, 1883,” pp. 49-52)

2 Oct.:  A School of the Prophets–only for the elite.

“Meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles 3 P.M. Tuesday 2nd October, 1883, at President Taylor’s Office.

Present:  Presidents John Taylor, George Q. Cannon, and Joseph F. Smith.  Apostles Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, Albert Carrington, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman, and Heber J. Grant, and Elders Nuttall and Reynolds.

Prest. Taylor instructed Brother Lyman what had been done toward organizing the School of the Prophets during the last two meetings (he being then absent).  ‘We have thought that it was proper to fill a class of people who would adhere strictly to the laws of God; on that basis the School would be organized.’  He afterwards referred to the law of the Lord concerning the doctrine as contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, both with regard to those who had not and those who had received their Endowments; which laws he felt he nor any other person had a right to change nor alter.  Regarding the School the First Presidency had a full and free discussion and were in entire harmony, so with the Twelve at the last meeting the First Presidency and the Twelve voted to accept the First Presidency.  I think that according to the leadings of the Spirit we might introduce others; and organize the School as it was first intended.  It may be well also to organize other Schools in the Stakes, under the direction of the Presidency of the Stake, and the question is whether it would not be better for them, at any rate for a time, to submit the names of those proposed for membership for supervision or acceptance.

Prest. Woodruff thought it would be well, in the beginning, if the First Presidency could not meet to organize the School, that some of the Twelve should.

Prest. Cannon drew attention to the difference in the Presidents of the Stakes as to the standard they would insist upon with regard to those they admitted, some would require a higher standard than others.  He thought something should be done to insure uniformity.

Brother Richards thought the Presidents of Stakes should first belong to the School here.

Prest. Cannon spoke of the Revelation given about a year ago, regarding fulfilling the word of the Lord.  Some of the brethren in high positions had, so far as he knew had not fulfilled that law.

Brother Lyman stated that he being absent when the vote was taken wished to be passed upon.  Prest. Woodruff asked him some questions with regard to his life, which questions being satisfactorily answered, Brother Woodruff moved he be accepted.  Carried unanimously.

Bro. Lyman said that he accepted all his brethren of the Council with all his heart.  He also accepted the minutes of the meeting as the rest of the brethren had previously done.

In answer to the question from Bro. Jos. F. Smith Prest. Taylor said that at present it would be well to confine the School to official members of the Church, and extend gradually.  There might ultimately be more than one School in a Stake, if circumstances made it desirable.”  (2 Oct., 1883; “Minutes of the Salt Lake School of the Prophets, 1883,” pp. 56-58) 

3 Oct.:  Zebedee Coltrin and 1st School of the Prophets.

“Prests. John Taylor and George Q. Cannon, Apostles Erastus Snow, Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, and Heber J. Grant, and Elders L. John Nuttall and Zebedee Coltrin present.

Bro. Zebedee Coltrin said: I believe I am the only living man now in the church who was connected with the School of the Prophets when it was organized in 1833, the year before we went up in Zion’s Camp.

Prest. Taylor.  How many were then connected with the School at that time?

Bro. Coltrin.  When the Word of Wisdom was first presented by the Prophet Joseph (as he came out of the translating room) and was read to the School, there were twenty out of the twenty-one who used tobacco and they all immediately threw their tobacco and pipes into the fire.

There were members as follows:  Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, William Smith, Fredrick [sic] G. Williams, Orson Hyde, (who had the charge of the school), Zebedee Coltrin, Sylvester Smith, Joseph Smith Sen., Levi Hancock, Martin Harris, Sidney Rigdon, Newell [sic] K. Whitney, Samuel H. Smith, John Murdock, Lyman Johnson and Ezra Thayer.

The salutation, as written in the Doctrine and Covenants was carried out at that time, and at every meeting, and the washing of feet was attended to, the Sacrament was also administered at times when Joseph appointed, after the ancient order; that is, warm bread to break easy was provided, and broken into pieces as large as my fist and each person had a glass of wine and sat and ate the bread and drank the wine; and Joseph said that was the way that Jesus and his disciples [sic] partook of the bread and wine; and this was the order of the church anciently, and until the church went into darkness.  Every time we were called together to attend to any business, we came together in the morning about sunrise, fasting and partook of the Sacrament each time; and before going to school we washed ourselves and put on clean linen.  At one of these meetings after the organization of the school, {the school being organized} on the 23rd {of} January, 1833, when we were all together, Joseph having given instructions, and while engaged in silent prayer, kneeling, with our hands uplifted each one praying in silence, no one whispered above his breath, a personage walked through the room from East to west, and Joseph asked if we saw him.  I saw him and suppose the others did, and Joseph answered that is Jesus, the Son of God, our elder brother.  Afterward Joseph told us to resume our former position in prayer, which we did. Another person came through; He was surrounded with a flame of fire.  He (Bro. C{oltrin}) experienced a sensation that it might destroy the tabernacle as it was of consuming fire of great brightness.  The Prophet Joseph said this was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I saw Him.

When asked about the kind of clothing the Father has on, Bro. Coltrin said; I did not discover HIs clothing for He was surrounded as with a flame of fire, which was so brilliant that I could not discover anything else but His person.  I saw His hands, His legs, his feet, his eyes, nose, mouth, head and body in the shape and form of a perfect man.  He sat in a chair as a man would sit in a chair, but His appearance was so grand and overwhelming that it seemed I should melt down in His presence, and the sensation was so powerful that it thrilled through my whole system and I felt it in the marrow of my bones.  The Prophet Joseph said: Brethren now you are prepared to be the Apostles of Jesus Christ, for you have seen both the Father and the Son, and know that They exist and that They are two separate Personages.

This appearance occured about two or three weeks after the opening of the school.  After the Father had passed through, Joseph told us again take our positions in prayer.  We did so, and in a very short time he drew our attention and said to us that Bro. Reynolds Cahoon was about to leave us–and told us to look at him.  He (Bro. Cahoon) was on his knees, and his arms were extended, his hands and wri[s]ts, head, face and neck down to his shoulders were as a piece of amber,–clear and transparent, his blood having apparently left his veins.  Upon the attention of the brethren being thus called to Bro. Cahoon, the change seemed to pass away and Joseph said that in a few minutes more Bro. Cahoon would have left us; but he came to himself again.

The school room was in the upper room of Whitney’s store.”  (3 Oct., 1883; “Minutes of the Salt Lake School of the Prophets, 1883,” pp. 58-60)

11 Oct.:  God still giving revelation on Temple work.

“God has not stopped giving revelations regarding work in the Temples for our dead, etc.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 11 Oct., 1883; “Minutes of the Salt Lake School of the Prophets, 1883,” p. 66)

11 Oct.:  Vision of Adam and Eve in white garments.

“Once after returning from a mission, he [Zebedee Coltrin] met Bro. Joseph in Kirtland, who asked him if he did not wish to go with him to a conference at New Portage. The party consisted of Priests. Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery and myself. Next morning at New Portage, he noticed that Joseph seemed to have a far off look in his eyes, or was looking at a distance, and presently he, Joseph, stepped between Brothers Cowdery, and Coltrin and taking them by the arm, said, ‘lets take a walk.’  They went to a place where there was some beautiful grass, and grapevines and swampbeech interlaced. President Joseph Smith then said, ‘let us pray.’  They all three prayed in turn — Joseph, Oliver and Zebedee. Bro. Joseph then said, ‘now brethren we will see some visions.’  Joseph lay down on the ground on his back and stretched out his arms and the two brethren lay on them. The heavens gradually opened, and they saw a golden throne, on a circular foundation, something like a light house, and on the throne were two aged personages, having white hair, and clothed in white garments. They were the two most beautiful and perfect specimens of mankind he ever saw. Joseph said, They are our first parents, Adam and Eve. Adam was a large broad-shouldered man, and Eve as a woman, was as large in proportion.”  (Minutes of the Salt Lake School of the Prophets, 1883; CHO CR/390/1/Box 1; pp. 67-70; Oct 11, 1883)

12 Oct.:  Washing of feet/beginning of SL School Prophets.

“The First Presidency then proceeded downstairs to examine the preparations made for the washing of feet.  On their return foot baths were brought into the Celestial Room, where the meeting was being held.  President Taylor removed his coat and vest (in the sealing room) Bro. Zebedee Coltrin removed his coat and hose: Prest. Taylor girded himself with towel and proceeded to wash the feet of Bro. Zebedee Coltrin, explaining that he did so because Bro. Coltrin was a very aged member of the Church and had belonged to the School instituted by Joseph, and had had his feet washed by the Prophet.  Before washing his feet Prest. Taylor took Bro. Coltrin by the right hand and said unto him that because he had kept his covenants and kept himself pure he proceeded to wash his feet, and as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints said, Thy sins be forgiven thee, he then washed his feet and again told him his sins were forgiven him.  Bro. Coltrin then girded himself with a towel and washed Prest. Taylor’s feet.  He said that as a link connecting the old school with the present he washed President’s feet and pronounced him clean from the blood of this generation, and sealed by the authority of the holy Priesthood many blessings upon him and washed his feet as a testimony thereof.

Prest. Taylor then washed the feet of:

Prest George Q. Cannon

  ” Joseph F. Smith

Apostle Wilford Woodruff

  ” Lorenzo Snow

  ” Erastus Snow

  ” Brigham Young

  ” Albert Carrington

  ” Moses Thatcher

  ” Francis M. Lyman

  ” George Teasdale

  ” Heber J. Grant

Coun. Daniel H. Wells

Elder Abraham Owen Smoot

  ” Christopher Layton

  ” William R. Smith

  ” John Riggs Murdock

  ” John D. T. McAllister

  ” John Bray Maiben

  ” Willard Gilbert Smith

While more water was being fetched the brethren sang ‘Let us Pray, gladly pray.’

Prest. Taylor then continued the washing of feet in the following order:

Elder William Budge

  ” Ira Nathaniel Hinckley

  ” Christian Grace Larsen

  ” Abram Hatch

  ” Silas Sanford Smith

  ” William Booker Preston

  ” Hugh Sibley Gowens

  ” William Wallace Cluff

  ” Angus Munn Cannon

  ” L. John Nuttall

  ” Henry Eyring

  ” Lewis Warren Shurtliff

  ” William Paxman

  ” Thomas Jefferson Jones

  ” George Reynolds

  ” Jesse Wentworth Crosby, Jr.

Prest. Angus M. Cannon, L. John Nuttall and other assisted in bringing the water to President and in removing the bath as each Elder had his feet washed; fresh water being used in each case.  All the brethren, (after the Twelve and their councillors, Bro. Wells) were washed according to seniority.  Roll was then called, 38 present including Bro. Zebedee Coltrin.

The following is the form of ceremony used by Prest. Taylor:

Brother (giving name) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood I wash thy feet in accordance with the order instituted by God in his church and as practised by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when in the flesh upon his Apostles and diciples [sic], and also observed by his servant Joseph Smith the Prophet as an introductory ordinance into the school of the prophets.  I pronounce thee clean from the blood of this generation, and confer upon thee all the rights, blessings, powers and privelages [sic] associated with this holy ordinance, and I do it by virtue of the Holy Priesthood and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Occasionally he inserted ‘And I say unto thee thy sins are forgiven thee.’

The administration of the Sacrament was then proceeded with.  Bread and wine being introduced and spread upon a table.  The First Presidency broke the bread.  The brethren all knelt Prest. Taylor asked a blessing on the bread.  Prest. Cannon and Smith handed the bread around to the brethren.  (IIt was broken in large pieces after the ancient order about the sixe of a moderate size man’s fist.)  Elder L. John Nuttall handed the bread to Bros. Cannon and Smith.  Prest. Taylor said: There is a great deal of carelessness dealing with the taking of the Lord’s Supper.  People should always remember Him and his atonement when they do so.  It was instituted that he might be brought to remembrance of his Saints.  The tokens, sacrifices, etc., of the ancient church are emblemitical [sic] of the atonement; it is the one thing running through the whole of the scriptures.  Men offered up the blood of animals, doves, etc.  God offered up his son.  A blessing was then asked upon the wine by Prest. Taylor.

Prest. Taylor said: Jesus had promised he would no more drink of the fruit of the vine until he drank it new in his Father’s Kingdom.  The washing of feet is not the same ordinance associated with this as attended to administration of Endowments in the Kirtland Temple.  There were some introductory Endowments attended in that building, and the washing of feet was connected with the endowments.  This is a distinct thing and is introductory to the School of the Prophets.  The other was an Endowment.  It has become quite a serious thought if initiatory ordinances had not better be given first on account of the lightness with which the ordinances were not treated by many; when persons had proven themselves worthy, give then another step in advance.  The reason why things are in the shape they are is because Joseph felt called upon to confer all ordinances connected with the Priesthood.  He felt in a hurry on account of certain premonition that he had concerning his death, and was very desirous to impart the endowments and all the ordinances thereof to the Priesthood during his life time, and it would seem to be necessary that there should be more care taken in the administration of the ordinances to the Saints in order that those who had not proven themselves worthy might not partake of the fulness of the anointings until they had proven themselves worthy thereof, upon being faithful to the initiatory principles; as great carelessness and a lack of appreciation had been manifested by many who had partaken of those sacred ordinances.  Had Joseph Smith lived he would have had much more to say on many of those points which he was prevented from doing by his death.  It remains for us to look after and inquire into these matters, that perfect order may exist in the Church of God and that persons may not be put in possession of rights and priviledges, and receive blessings promises and endowments of which they are unworthy and cannot enjoy.  We have an instance of that in Section 88 verses 133-4 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

Art thou a brother or brethren?  I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant I receive you to fellowship, in a determination that is fixed, immovable, and unchangeable, to be your friend and brother through the grace of God in the bonds of love, to walk in all the commandments of God blameless, in thanksgiving, forever and ever.  Amen.  And he that is found unworthy of this salutation shall not have place among you; for ye shall not suffer that mine house shall be polluted by him.

And if this principle would not hold in regard to the School of the Prophets, would it not more emphatically do so as associated with the endowments.  It is further said Section 122 [sic] verses 36; 37-8:

That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion uopn the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.  Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

It was almost impossible, for people rushed through as they were in the Nauvoo Temple to comprehend the blessings they received.  Hence it is a great deal like the saying of Jesus, ‘Give not that which is holy to the dogs.’  The rich things pertaining to the Kingdom of God are not to be trifled with.  We must straighten up in regard to these matters.  Though there is a freedom in the Gospel, and we do nt wish to have too much law, there is a freedom belonging to man that he always felt very delicate of interferring with, especially among the Elders of Israel; yet the Gospel does not allow us the freedom of violating the law of God.  He was pleased to see the zeal of the brethren in regard to the Word of Wisdom and according to the words of Prest. Brigham Young it had now become a law unto us.  Some asked what right had Prest. Young to do this?  Just as much right as Joseph had to give a portion of a revelation and add to it afterwards.  There are some prominent leading principles in the Church and Kingdom of God we cannot ignore, Adultry is one of them and it appears necessary that some steps be taken to do away with this damning evil.  If we take steps to do away with Sabbath breaking, lying, covetousness, slandering, evils of all kinds, masturbation, etc. we are doing a great work for all by doing this and having a class of men who are willing to be led and guided by the Spirit of God, a different kind of things will be inaugurated.  There is one thing which must be observed, that is, the powers of the priesthood must be maintained as set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants.  (Elder Reynolds read the latter portion of the 121st Section.)  Prest. Taylor continued:  There is something very beautiful in those sentiments, but the principle of this power all things can be controlled.  We are told that the glory of God is intelligence–we want to draw nearer to God and gain intelligence from all good books.  We have no right to present any of our relations, children, or friends to any of these plans or to receive any ordinances of the Church who are not worthy from their acts.  Just the same as Bro. Joseph F. expressed himself in regard to his brother John, who does not and has not lived to the privilege he might enjoy.  (Referred to the affair of the divorce of Bro. Cahoon and his two wives a short time ago.)  We are the truest friends that the world has today, and if they would let us we would befriend them.  There is a spirit of defiance to the Priesthood of God and some of our Elders are sometimes inclined in that direction.

I feel grateful today and feel to glorify God for his Spirit has been manifest in our midst today, among the leading men of the Church and Kingdom of God on the earth; and when you bow the knee in prayer I ask you brethren remember me and the brethren my councillors, for we need your prayers and the blessings of God upon us in our labors.  Then our peace will flow as a river and righteousness as the waves of the sea.  Our dependency is in the Lord; the nearer we approach to God, the greater our responsibilities.  Joseph once said that in attending to the ordinances, as we have today, that if we violate our covenants we shall be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption.  Prest. Taylor then spoke of the signs in the Endowments and asked what they meant,–have thought that the ancient Japanese understood something in regard to these matters in the Hari Kari–we do not interfere with the lives of men, those who violate their covenants, we leave them in the hands of God, and in many instances that you know he has visited signal judgments uopn transgressors.  In the cases of Whoredom, harlots engage in those matters do not live to exceed five years, so the statistics say.  Whoremongers and adulterers purge.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,–it requires the greatest care to properly control ourselves and those associated with us.  We will now have the ceremony attended to of the salutation that we may know all pertaining to these matters.

Sang: ‘This Earth Was Once a Garden Place.’

Prest. Taylor continued:  It will not be wisdom for you to start these Schools hurridly, we want them thoroughly supervised only introduce honorable, God fearing Latter day Saints.  We don’t want Sabbath breakers, profaners, those who do not keep the Word of Wisdom.  We must get our High Councils and Bishops instructed.  Teach them as we teach you, that they may become examples among their flocks.  Those here, who have an idea of entering into these things, do so only carefully, let us know of your proceedings before entering into any of these organizations; be exceedingly careful whom you admit.  We want to know their names and see their credentials, and we will send some of the Twelve to aid you organize or write to you.  We must keep the things of the School sacredly; must not talk about them, they may be misconstrued.  Hoped we should be able to keep our own counsel.

Spoke of the reason why he required all their recommends to be signed and counter-signed.

The brethren then retired previous to the organization of the school.”  (12 Oct., 1883; “Minutes of the Salt Lake School of the Prophets, 1883,” pp. 84-91)

“Oct. 12th 1883 was a day to be long remembered by all who partook of the blessings that were then bestowed upon us.

Patriarch Zebedee Coltrin, who was the only surviving members of the school of the Prophets organized by the Prophet Joseph Smith at Kirtland washed the feet of President John Taylor and Prest Taylor in turn washed the feet of Zebedee Coltrin and then the feet of his counselors, then of ten of the Apostles (Elders C C Rich and John H. Smith being absent the former sick, the later presiding in England) then the feet of Counselor D H. Wells (J W Young absent).

After that the remaining brethren were seated according to age and Prest Taylor washed the feet of twenty of the Presidents of Stakes, of Jno. B. Maiben Counselor to Prest Canute Peterson, of myself and of Geo Reynold private Secretary to Prest Taylor.  The ceremony used by Prest Taylor was about as follows: ‘In the name of Jesus and by the authority of the holy priesthood I wash your feet in accordance with the pattern set by our Lord Jesus Christ when he washed his disciples feet and told them to wash each-others’ feet, and also according to the pattern given by the Prophet Joseph Smith as an introductory ordinance to the School of the Prophets.

I pronounce you clean from the blood of this generation and say unto you, your sins are forgiven you and I seal upon you every blessing, gift, right and authority pertaining to this holy ordinance and I do it in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.’

After the washing of feet the Sacrament was administered, consisting of bread and wine.  Of the latter we partook about one third of a Tumbler full each and of ther former as much as our appetite would prompt us.  After the sacrament we retired to a lower room and on returning were saluted by Pres’t Taylor with the words prescribed in Section VII of the D, & C, Pres’t Geo. Q. Cannon in behalf of the members answered the salutation.  We were then dismissed by prayer.”  (Journal of Henry Eyring, BYU Special Collections, Mor/M270.1/Ey67, pp. 51-54; reprinted in Merle H. Graffam, “Salt Lake School of the Prophets–Minute Book, 1883,” pp. 76-76)

6 Oct.:  Purify ourselves before entering temples.

“In Zion we are rearing temples to the name of the Most High God.  And I will tell you how I feel–that as these temples are advancing, while we are preparing holy places in which to administer the ordinances of God pertaining to the living and the dead–I feel that we ought to begin to prepare ourselves to enter into these holy places, and to feel that we are the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.  We ought to wake up and put our houses in order, and our hearts in order; we ought to conform to the word, the will, and the law of God; we ought to let God rule in Zionk, to let His law be written upon our hearts, and to feel the responsibility of the great work we are called upon to perform.  We should see that our bodies and our spirits are pure, and that they are free from contamination of every kind.  We are here to build up the Zion of God, and to this end we must subject our bodies and our spirits to the law, to the word, and to the will of God.”  (John Taylor, 6 Oct., 1883; JD 26:132-133)

11 Oct.:  Reminiscence of first Kirtland Prayer Circle.

“They opened with prayer, Joseph then gave instructions to prepare their minds.  He told them to kneel and pray with uplifted hands. . . . About the time that the school was first organized some wished to see an angel, and a number joined in the circle, and prayed.  When the vision came, two of the brethren shrank and called for the vision to close or they would perish.”  (Minutes of the School of the Prophets, Salt Lake City, 11 Oct., 1883, p. 69)

11/12 Oct.:  Washing of feet to initiate.

“Oct. 11th, 1883 we were invited to the endowment house, where we were told that a school of the Prophets would be organized and that only those who are willing to observe the word of wisdom and observe all other laws, God has given us, could be admitted.  We were told to come again the next day, fasting and with our bodies washed clean.

Oct. 12, 1883 was a day to be long remembered by all who partook of the blessings that were then bestowed upon us.

Patriarch Zebedee Coltrin, who was the only surviving member of the school of the Prophets organized by the Prophet Joseph Smith at Kirtland washed the feet of President John Taylor and Pres Taylor in turn washed the feet of Zebedee Coltrin and then the feet of his counselors, then of ten of the Apostles (Elder C. C. Rich and John H. Smith being absent, the former sick, the latter presiding in England) then the feet of Counselor Daniel H. Wells.

After that the remaining brethren were seated according to age and Pres. Taylor washed the feet of twenty of the Presidents of Stakes, of John B. Maiben Counselor to Pres. Camute [?] Peterson, of myself and Geo. Reynolds private secretary to Pres. Taylor.  The ceremony used by Pres. Taylor was about as follows:

In the name of Jesus and by the authority of the holy priesthood I wash your feet in accordance with the pattern set by our Lord Jesus Christ when he washed his disciples feet and told them to wash each-others’ feet, and also according to the pattern given by the prophet Joseph Smith as an introductory ordinance to the School of the Prophets.

I pronounce you clean from the blood of this generation and day unto you, your sins are forgiven you and I seal upon you every blessing, gift, right and authority pertaining to this holy ordinance and I do it in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

(Journal of Henry Eyring 1835-1902.  See Bergera notes)

12 Oct.:  John Taylor washes feet of others.

“Met us at the Endowment House.  Singing and Prayers.  President Taylor addressed us on the order of the School of the Prophets, and washed, our feet pronouncing us clean from the blood of this generation and sealing upon us all the rights powers and priveleges associated with this ordinance.”  (J.D.T. McAllister diary, 12 Oct., 1883–my copy says 1881, but this is probably a typo.)

“This was a day of fasting and Prayer with the leaders of the Church.  I took a Bath and wash in the Morning and went to the Endowment House at 9 oclok to receive the washing of feet as it was done in Kirtland 47 years ago By the Prophet Joseph Smith as an Initiatory ordinance into the school of the Prophets.  Remarks were made By the Presidency & others.  President John Taylor washed the feet of Zebedee Coltrin as He was the ownly man living that was in the first school of the Prophets organ[i]zed by Joseph Smith in Kirtland in 1833.  Then Zebedee Coultrin washed the feet of Presidet Taylor.  Then Presidet Taylor washed the feet of his two Councillors & all the Twelve Apostles except C. C. Rich who was sick & John Henry Smith in England.  He washed the feet of 38 in all.  At the Close of this Ceremony we partook of Bread & wine as a sacrament as they did in the Temple in Kirtland which Closed the labor of the day.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 12 Oct., 1883)

25 Nov.:  Sinning after being sealed up to eternal life.

“Meeting at Snowflake 10 a.m.  Bro. [Brigham] Young [Jr.] said the spirit of improvement was noticeable among the Saints here, though a few did not improve.  Who are accepted of the Lord?  Those who live uprightly and keep their covenants.  What show has a man in this kingdom who cannot bear to be reproved or chided for his errors.  The time will come when he will be opened up as a book that all the world may read him.  Is it right for us to fail to practice here what we taught the brethren in the old world?  Some take license to commit little sins, because they are sealed up to eternal life, so they go on until they deny the atonement, and crucify the Savior afresh.  We shall not lose our reward for every good deed that we do.  But the man that runs well for a season and then falls away, he cannot enter into the Celestial Kingdom of God.”  (25 Nov., 1883; The Journal of Jesse Nathaniel Smith, Provo, Jesse N. Smith Family Organization, 1970; p. 278)

27 Nov.:  Must wash all over before prayer circles.

“Four of us met at the prayer-circle, but 2 of them had not washed all over, as is the requirement before dressing and appearing before the Lord in the order of the Priesthood for praher, we did not clothe and pray in that holy order, but knelt and prayed as at home.”  (Oliver B. Huntington journal, 27 Nov., 1883)

14 Dec.:  No right to perform ordinances for non-relatives

“Brother [Wilford] Woodruff, speaking of the rebellion in Heven, said, that the number of spirits that rebelled was, ‘a hundred thousand million.’  Said there had been 180,000 Baptisms performed in the St. George Temple for the dead.  Said there is now on earth bearing the Preisthood, 125 thousand.  Said, we had no right to be Baptised for the dead outside of our relatives.”  (Account of St. George Conference; Levi Savage diary, 14 Dec., 1883; LC Collection)

24 Dec.:  School of Prophets in St. George.

“Minutes of a meeting of the Priesthood assembled for the purpose of attending to the ordinance of washing of feet, and for organizing a school of the Prophets, held in the Temple, St. George, on Monday, December 24th, A.D. 1883.

All the brethren who wre at the meeting last night assembled in fasting and prayer, and answered to their name at roll call.

Prest. Woodruff presided.

‘Now Let Us Anew’ was sung.

Prayer by Prest. Woodruff.

‘This Earth Was Once a Garden Place’ was sung.

The brethren were then listed by age.

Prest. Woodruff then laid aside his coat and vest and girded himself with a towel.  All things being prepared, John Lytle, who was the oldest man present, being born on the 18th day of August 1803, then took his seat.  Prest. W. Woodruff washed his feet.  He said ‘By virtue of the Priesthood and in the name of Jesus Christ I wash thy feet according to an Holy Ordinance introduced by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with his Desciples when he washed their feet and told them to wash one another, and also by Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Lord.  An introductory ordinance to the School of the Prophets, and pronounce thee clean from the blood of this generation, and say unto thee, thy sins are forgiven thee, and seal and confirm upon thee all the rights, powers, and privileges associated with this ordinance in the authority of the Holy Priesthood and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.’

Prest. Woodruff then dried Bro. Lytle’s feet while fresh water was prepared by Apostle Teasdale, assisted by Prests. McAllister and Eyring, who had been admitted to the School of the Prophets in Salt Lake City.

The following brethren were then washed in their order:

[Henry Harriman, Henry W. Miller, William Fawcett, John Penn, George Woodward, Anson P. Windsor, Charles Smith, Robert Gardner, Daniel D. McAllister, Walter Granger, Marcus Ensign, Charles A. Terry, Stephen R. Wells, Charles W. Smith, Thomas S. Terry, James G. Bleak, Wilson D. Pace, Moses F. Farnsworth, David H. Cannon, William A. Thompson, William A. Bringhurst, Marcus Funk, George H. Crosby.]

At the completion of the ceremony bread and wine was produced.  Remarks were made by Apostle Snow, who gave instructions upon the ordinance of the Washing of Feet and the sacrament, referring to the ‘Last Supper’ of the Lord Jesus Christ and the instructions given in the Corinthians.  An organization of the School of the Prophets and the administration of the Sacrament at Jerusalem and Kirtland.”  (24 Dec., 1883; “Minutes of the Salt Lake School of the Prophets, 1883,” pp. 103-105)

“A school of the Prophets was organized in the Temple with Erastus Snow Pres. and John D. T. McAllister president in his absence.

the ceremonies were the same as those in Salt Lake City, the following were initiated by the washing of feet, Pres. Woodruff officiating: . . .”  (Journal of Henry Eyring, 1835-1902.  See Bergera notes)