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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1885

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1885.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1885.

1885:  14 Jan.:  Danite oath of cut throats.

“Q. Why did you stand aloof from the church after 1838?

A. I was appointed in charge of church affairs in Zion Missouri, but from my teaching disaffection grew, and Joseph and Sydney came out and visited the various branches of the Church pledging them to themselves as against my teaching upon the word of wisdom and other matters, until for the establishment of their views they organized the Danites by which each member was sworn to sustain the Heads of the Church whether right or wrong–the penalty of refusing so to do being death, ‘the throat cut’–I left because I could not accept it, being led out by the outstretched arm of God–promised life and blessing, and that my opponents would suffer that which they had tried to bring upon me.  Being informed of these designs &c by W W Phelps–John Corrill, and Riggs.”  (“Questions asked of David Whitmer at his home in Richmond Ray County Mo. Jan 14–1885.  relating to Book of Mormon, and the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS by Elder Z H. Gurley,” LDS Archives, Ms d 4681; xerox)

28 Jan.:  Education in Temples.

“We have, at different times in these columns, treated upon the objects and uses of Temples, the chief of which being the performance of sacred ordinances relating to the salvation of the living and the dead.  One of the leading features connected with structures of this character, however, is purely educational.  This branch of progress was instituted in connection with Temples by the Prophet Joseph Smith, in unison with the commandment of the Lord to the Saints to ‘Learn wisdom from all good books.’  The Prophet himself was a close and singularly apt student, and made such remarkable progress in various avenues of learning that had he been permitted to live to the extent of an ordinary mortal span he would doubtless have become one of the most accomplished scholars of his time.  In the early rise of the Church he and numbers of others were organized into classes for the pursuit of secular as well as theological studies.  The Saints will be pleased to learn that the initiatory steps are being taken to render the House of the Lord at Logan not only a place wherein sacred religious ordinances are performed, but a house of education and of learning.

In this connection we are enabled to present the following letter, which we have no doubt will meet with a liberal and hearty response from those who are interested in the cause to which it refers:

Logan Temple Office,

Jan. 16th, 1885.

To the Saints throughout the Territories:

The donors to the Logan temple having incorporated themselves into a body corporate, known as the ‘Logan Temple Association,’ among the objects of which is to institute a seat of learning in said Temple, and in order that this object may be effected, a suitable library is necessary.  It is therefore deemed proper to ask the Saints through the Territory and elsewhere for a donation.

The books most suited for the purpose intended will be:  Histories of all kinds, ancient and modern; the most improved encyclopaedias of information; essays and treatises upon theology by any Christian author; works upon natural philosophy, embracing physiology, cosmography, cosmology, cosmogony, ethnology, ethnography, botany, zoology, entomology, ornithology, and embryology; works upon the exact sciences, embracing mathematics, geometry, trigonometry, algebra and calculus, navigation and astronomy; works upon physical geography, geology, agriculture, ensilage, stock raising, architecture, horticulture, floriculture, and orcharding; the works of our home poets, and all others.  Works on archaeology, psychology, languages, heredity and jurisprudence.  Travels of eminent travelers and explorers.  In forwarding any of the above books please give the full name of the donor, place of residence, and value of books thus sent.

M. W. Merrill,

President, ‘Logan Temple Association.'”

(Editorial, “Education in Temples,” DN 34(2):23, 28 Jan., 1885)

2 Feb.:  Method of laying cornerstones for Kirtland Temple

“I was at the funeral of Fanny Miner, the widow of Alber[t?] Miner an old Missouri Mormon; and she had it written in her journal as was stated at the funeral, that she was at the laying of the cornerstones of the Kirtland Temple and that there were not elders enough in the place to perform the ceremonies according to the order of the Priesthood of God until George A. Smith and Don Carlos Smith were ordained, which made 24, 6 at each corner.”  (Oliver B. Huntington journal, 2 Feb., 1885)

4 Feb.:  John Taylor anointed King, Priest, Ruler.

“Soon after 8. p.m. Prests Taylor & Cannon met the seven of the 12 first named at End house  Secretaries Geo. Reynolds and L. John Nuttall were present.  After listening to some current items of news, President Taylor stated the object of the Council.  directed Br Nuttall to read a Revelation which he said he received more than a year ago requiring him to be anointed & set apart as a King Priest and Ruler over Israel on the Earth–over Zion & the Kingdom under Christ our King of Kings.  He also read some extracts from minutes of the Council of the Kingdom after which the President called for any remarks when several spoke their mind and F.M.L. [Francis M. Lyman] motioned that we proceed to obey the requirement of the Revelation.  when we clothed in our Priestly attire.  E Snow offered prayer, when after the usual ceremony F. M. Lyman prayed in the circle.  L. Snow consecrated a bottle of oil.  Counselor Cannon anointed President John Taylor and we all laid hands on the Presd. & Geo. Q. sealed the anointing according to a written form which had been prepared.”  (Franklin D. Richards Minutes Re:  Council of 50–Microfilm of F.D. Richards at HDC; #318, Reel 12, in Misc. Papers.  See Bergera notes)   

1 Apr.:  Genealogy.

“In another part of this issue we publish a portion of an adress on the history of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  Our object in doing so is to inform our readers in regard to the interest which is being taken in genealogical matters in the land of the Puritans.

The Latter-day Saints are specially interested in learning all they can about their ancestors who passed away without having a chance to embrace the Gospel, for the Lord has revealed the fact to them that they can perform a vicarious work for them, which will be acceptable to them, and tend to their salvation.  The revelation of the doctrine of baptism for the dead, which Paul incidentally refers to (I Cor. xv:29), but which the world was in complete ignorance of until the Lord made in known through the Prophet Joseph Smith, inspired the Saints with an interest in the history of their ancestors which they never before felt.  They have spent much money and time in the searching of records for genealogical data, that they might officiate in the sacred temples which have been erected for the purpose in behalf of their deceased friends, thus proving themselves veritable saviors unto them.  Every true Latter-day Saint is ambitious to do all he can in this line while he has the opportunity.  They could not hope to be justified of the Almighty unless they were to do so, ‘for necessity is laid upon’ them.

How gratifying, then, it must be to them to learn that others as well as themselves are aroused to the necessity of searching the misty records of the past and tracing the history of families to as remote a period as possible.

The same motive does not prompt the members of the various genealogical societies of New England and other places as urges the Saints to make similar researches; in fact, it might be difficult for many persons who have during recent years become so wonderfully exercised over genealogical matters that it amounts to a mania with them, to tell just why they are so affected.  There is a reason for it, but it may not be apparent to them.  It is sufficient for them to know that they are so impressed, and without stopping to question the cause, they are ready to sacrifice time and wealth in the attainment of the object.  And so the work of forming these societies and collating and publishing genealogical data goes on in this and other countries; and thousands of men are laboring assiduously to prepare the way, though unconsciously, for the salvation of the dead.

In all this the Saints recognize the hand of the Lord, shaping the destiny of his work, and preparing the way for its accomplishment.  They have no difficulty in assigning a reason for the unusual interest in the subject referred to, which now prevails in the world.  It is a result of that power which will in time to come be made manifest in revealing to the Saints in sacred places those links in their ancestry which cannot be traced by human means, so that the saving work might be done for all who are worthy, and the chain of redemption through the power of the Gospel rendered complete all the way back to Father Adam.”  (DN 34(11):174, 1 Apr., 1885)

May:  RLDS response to Brighamite Endowment.

“It is strange, indeed, that Latter Day Saints of experience, those acquainted with the Church at Kirtland, or with its written history in the Evening and Morning Star, Messenger and Advocate, Times and Seasons, or Millennial Star, could have ever been induced to accept the Brighamite ‘endowment,’ consisting as it does of washings, robings, secret oaths and covenants, grips and passwords, as that given of God.  It is strange indeed that those who have read of the endowment of Moses and the seventy, or that on Pentecost, or that of the Nephites, could have been induced to believe in that taught by Brigham Young and his fellows; for they are as different as is light from darkness.  Those written of in the sacred books of the church, and in the Church papers prior to 1844, were spiritual, done without robings, oaths, grips, passwords, and secresies.  That administered by Brigham and his fellows was done in ‘secret chambers,’ of which ‘myster’ the Saints were warned as early as January, 1831, Doc. and Cov. 38:4, and informed that it was designed to bring to pass their ‘destruction in process of time.’  And, that the Saints ‘might escape the power of the enemy’ and be gathered unto God ‘a righteous people without spot, and blameless,’ (par. 7), the Lord gave the great law to the Church February, 9th, 1831, (D.C., section 42).  And had that law been strictly obeyed by priest and people there could have been no such thing in the Church as a secret oath-bound endowment, nor its fellow evil–polygamy, and their like.

The Lord promised to endow his ministry ‘with power from on high,’ if they proved faithful to him, and at Kirtland this was realized in part, as may be seen by reading the Messenger and Advocate, also from the 15th volume of Millennial Star from which we extract the following relative to the order of anointing, and the spiritual manifestations which attended.  Joseph the Seer says, page 620,

. . . .

In the above we see the order and ordinances of the endowment administered and endorsed by Joseph the Seer, at Kirtland, in 1836; and we also see the character and degree of spiritual manifestations attending it, and that, too, in the presence of hundreds of the Saints.  It will be seen also that the Seer claimed that he, at that time, had ‘completed the organization of the Church,’ and said they ‘had passed through all the necessary ceremonies.’  Inasmuch as these things are true, what must we think of the secret oath-bound endowment given by Brigham Young and his fellows, and of their organizations and church ceremonies unknown to the Church in 1836 or later?

The endowment administered under the direction of the Seer was approved of God, and sealed by the Holy Spirit, as many now living can testify who were present on that memorable occasion.  And inasmuch as that given by Brigham and his fellows lacks both in form, ordinances, and spiritual power, we may know it is not of God, and those ensnared by it should repudiate and abandon it at once and forever.  Many of the chief errors and evils of Utah Mormonism is  easily traced to their irrational and unscriptural endowment.  It is a leading cause in forcing the Utah Saints into conflict with the institutions and laws of our nation, and to it may be attributed much of the bitterness and shame and reproach and suffering that has fallen upon those called to be saints.”  (W. W. Blair, “Endowments,” The Saints’ Advocate 7:539-543, May, 1885)

2 May:  Endowments at an early age.

“It was a word of counsel from Pres Taylor that young people should receive their endowments when about 19 or 20 years old, except when they are going to be married.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 2 May, 1885)

[Footnote to the above entry:]  “Some endowments had been given at the St. George Temple at an earlier age than nineteen, even though the recipients were not given in marriage.  Some of Cahrles L. Walker’s children are examples:  Zaidee, Ida, and Agatha, in that order his eldest, were endowed at age fourteen, fourteen, and fifteen, respectively.  None were married until several years following their endowments.  Arthur F. and Zaidee W. Miles, ‘L.D.S. Family Record,’ pp. 23-24, 44, 52.”  (Diary of Charles L. Walker, Vol. II, p. 645)

2 Jul.:  The advantage of temple knowledge.

“Attended Fast Meeting.  Spoke to the people a short time on the advantage we had over the sectarian world in knowing our feet were placed on the road to Eternal life, having keys and powers confered upon us in Holy places, and that if faithfull we should take this knowledge with also our sacred keys and tokens and the Holy Priesthood and continue our work under the same grand Head, not taking a leap in the dar, as those who know not God by the power of the Holy ordinances of the Priesthood.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 2 Jul., 1885)

3 Jul.:  Endowment for dead friend.

“I went thro the Temple today for one of My dead friends and felt a pleasure in being able to do some little good for those behind the vail.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 3 Jul., 1885)

29 Jul.:  Logan Temple Association.

“The following appears in the Logan Journal over the signature of James A. Leishman, Secretary of the Logan Temple Association:

Pursuant to the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation of the ‘Logan Temple Association’ the directors of the same, prepared and adopted a code of by-laws at a meeting recently called for that purpose; these by-laws will more thoroughly assist to carry into effect the object and designs of the Associations.  On Monda, July 13th, 1885, the annual meeting of the members was held in the basement of the Logan Tabernacle at which they by-laws were read.  The report of the directors was presented and received.  It set forth that the Trustee-in-Trust had conveyed the legal title of the Temple and grounds to the corporation, that instructors of various branches of learning had been appointed, viz.: James Z. Stewart, Theology; Apostle Moses Thatcher, Civil Government; W. H. Apperley, Science and Language; James A. Leishman, History; Charles W. Nibley, Domestic and Political Economy; John E. Carlisle, Natural Philosophy.  It is expected that classes will at once be formed in the foregoing departments, and lectures delivered upon topics embraced within their purview.

A lecture room has been fitted up in the Temple, in which will assemble the various classes contemplated from time to time, to take part in the exercises that may be assigned them by their respective instructors.  During the past year upwards of 100 volumes of standard authors, chiefly of a historical character, have been collected, and an elegant home-made book case provided for them.  This is a very fair beginning for an excellent library, which will be indispensible to the growth and development of the Association.

The corporation having no assets, it being purely an institution of learning, and not one of pecuniary profit, it is expected that the Saints generally will contribute liberally for the further improvement and adornment of the grounds, the purchase of literary apparatus, and donate books suitable to the character of the institution.

That an association of this nature has been established should call forth the aid and support of the Saints, and is reason for gratification among all lovers of learning.  It will open up a field of instruction which will be of incalculable benefit to all who will take an interest in it.”

(DN 34(27):439, 29 Jul., 1885)

Oct.:  Pillar of fire to rest on Jackson Co. Temple.

“The fine photo-engraving which appears as the frontpiece of this number was made under the immediate supervision of Captain Richard W. Young by the New York Photo-Engraving Co.  It is from a pen and ink drawing executed by Dan Weggeland, Esp., from photographs.  The site of the Temple at Jackson County, at the top of the engraving, is a valuable drawing for its historical interest to our people.  To those who have visited it the ground appears to be, of all other spots, the most suitable.  It is higher than that surrounding it and from the tope of a high building located upon it, one of the most lovely landscapes of America is to be seen.

It is the place to which the thoughts of the Saints ever recur in contemplating the future of Zion.  Our hope and expectation is that upon this sacred spot, a view of which is now before us, shall be reared the glorious Temple of the Lord, upon which a could shall rest by day and a pillar of fire by night, and within which shall be performed the most sacred ceremonies pertaining to the Gospel, in the presence of the most holy personages of the Priesthood, both ancient and modern.  Upon that spot of ground every faithful Elder who visits it feels involuntarily to raise his hat and thank God for the restoration of the trut, for the privilege he has of participating in it, and for the favor and prosperity that the Lord is bestowing upon His people, thus preparing them to return to Jackson County to build the House of the Lord and the City of Zion.”  (Editorial [Junius F. Wells, editor], Contributor 7(1):34, Oct., 1885)

Oct.:  Publication of the Logan Temple Lectures.

“Dear Brother–

As the result of the incorporation of the ‘Logan Temple Association,’ by which was founded a school of science, monthly lectures are delivered in said Temple.  These lectures are prepared with care and study, and might be of interest to others than those composing the class before whom they are delivered.  The lecturers or instructors and subjects are as follows: . . .

We would be pleased to have these lectures published in the Contributor if you can find space for them.”  (Marriner W. Merrill, President, Logan Temple Association; to Junius F. Wells, editor; Contributor 7(1):36, Oct., 1885)

Oct.:  Relationship of missionary work to Kirtland endow.

“We have sent them without stint of numbers to the people of this great nation, the United States; have endeavored to inform them ever since the year 1830, and especially since the endowment at Kirtland in 1836, when the Apostles, High Priests and Elders went forth into all parts of this nation, as far as permitted, and as fast as they had opportunity, to inform the people of the principles of our faith.”  (Franklin D. Richards, Oct., 1885; JD 26:336)

5 Nov.:  First Fast Meeting in St. George Temple.

“We attend the first fast meeting ever held in the temple and had the great honor of going through the Holy House, as visitors which gave us a chance of learning very many important things that one would hardly notice in going through for endowments for the living or the dead.”  (Orson W. Hunstman diary, 5 Nov., 1885; LC Collection)

18 Nov.:  Cremation.

“The practice of reducing the remains of the dead to ashes with fire is not by any means a new thing in cosmic science; it may, so far as relates to the present generation, be termed a revival of a very ancient practice, having been in vogue among the Romans before Christ, and to a limited extent was and is still the custom in a more crude and incomplete way in India, the funeral pyre dating back to the very beginning of the history of that country.  The Romans’ plan seems to have differed from that of the Indians only in the matter of completeness, incineration, or as nearly that as possible, having taken place with each burning, while with the latter the bodies are and were merely singed and then thrown into a neighboring stream to be devoured by fishes.  The revival of the practice in civilized times and places, while free from most of the repugnant features of the old systems, has not extricated it from the chief objections–the fact that it is opposed to the precepts of the Bible and is violently shocking to the cultivated and soulful mind.

Some time since a project was set on foot looking to the erection of a crematory on a large scale in the State of New York.  Subscription lists were at once opened, but so decidedly was the drift of public sentiment against the enterprise that great difficulty was experienced in making the elements cohere at all.  The projectors, however, pushed the work wherever there was an opportunity of getting a convert or a dollar, and at last succeeded in getting together enough subscribers and funds to proceed with the necessary building.  A suitable site was secured at Fresh Pond, Long Island, and the walls were erected to the square; but no sooner had this been accomplished that a tremendous storm arose and blew the structure to the ground.  Having gone so far, the stockholders decided to try it again, and after another strain on their resources, and difficulties of various kinds, succeeded at last in completing the work and formally announcing the establishment open for the reception of ‘business.’  In the absence of another wind storm or some other visitation of the elements, it will doubtless prove a paying investment and be the means of causing other communities to embark in the enterprise, as no less than forty corpses were incinerated in one day.  The inducements offered by the stockholders are cheapness, despatch and health to the survivors, arguments which appeal strongly to a certain limited but rapidly growing element–and thus is one of the most sacred duties of the living, that of disposing properly of the remains of the dead, converted into a matter of speculation and convenience.

That cremation is growing rapidly in public estimation cannot be denied; that it is through a sordid and perverted condition of our race that it is able to do so, is unquestionable.  In this day of enlightenment as to the will of God and the duties of man, the mere advocacy of it sounds too much like sacrilege to be tolerated by a Christian; and the revolt which a sensitive mind must experience at the very thought of the remains of some loved one undergoing such a process is of itself a barrier to the practice becoming universally adopted.  ‘Earth to earth and dust to dust’is the decree of the Creator, and as we are of the earth we should be permitted to return to its breast and be held in its embrace when the spirit which for a time was of and with it has taken its flight.  To circumvent the process of decay ordained by Him who gave the means by which a blade or grass or a giant tree should spring from the remains of their predecessors beneath the soil, is impious in the extreme, and should receive no countenance, but rather the sternest and most uncompromising opposition from all who claim to be Christians.

There was one cremation in Salt Lake City some six or seven years ago–that of Dr. Winslow.  Those who witnessed that disgusting spectacle seemed to have no further desire to gratify their curiosity or satisfy their thirst for information.  We hope it was the last as well as the first instance of the kind in our Territory.  We do not say cremation must go, but that it must not be permitted to come.”  (Editorial, “Cremation,” DN 34(44):695, 18 Nov., 1885)

1 Dec.:  Had Albert Carrington received 2nd anointing?

“Probably no event that has happened since the death of President Brigham Young has produced so profound a sensation among the Latter-day Saints as the excommunication from the Church of Elder Albert Carrington.  A man high in authority, evernable in years and long and intimately associated with the leaders in Zion, the news of his fall shocks every one who entertains respect for the Priesthood or who offers prayers for those who bear it.  Had it been the announcement of his death, the news would have produced sorrow for his loss, but it would have been heavenly joy compared with the feeling caused by the publication of his severance from the Church.  There are many events which may happen to men that are far worse than death.  We mourn for the dead; but if they died faithful to the truth, there is mingled with our grief an sweet satisfaction, a heavenly consolation, that the separation is but for a little while.  But what ray of hope can penetrate the sombre gloom of the abyss into which one falls, when cut off from the Church, who occupied so exalted a station as did Albert Carrington!

Perhaps it is not too much to say that no man in the Church has had better advantages in many respects for the time he has been a member than has Albert Carrington.  He was a college graduate, and he joined the Church at a time when men possessing such advantages were not so common as now.  He came here with the Pioneers, and his education enabled him to take a prominent part in public affairs.  President Young showed him great confidence, and their association was long and intimate.  He cannot, therefore, plead ignorance as an excuse for his wrong-doing.  The acts for which he has been dealth with were the deliberate violations on his part of principles and laws which he has heard taught by the lips of inspiration ever since he gathered with the Saints, and in direct conflict with every example which he has seen on the part of the leaders of Israel.

We do not think it necessary to dwell at any length in this article upon his case; but there are a few thoughts which it suggests.  The Church has been taught from the beginning that no amount of talent, no number of gifts, no eminence in the Priesthood were sufficient to save a man, or to keep him in the Church, without personal purity.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 20(23):360, 1 Dec., 1885)

1 Dec.:  Power from Kirtland and Nauvoo still present.

“It would be a great mistake to suppose that we have enjoyed none of the blessings resulting from the temples reared in Ohio and Illinois.  The power with which the servants of God were endowed in those sacred places has been manifest in their subsequent lives.  All the first members of the quorums of the Presidency and Twelve, and many since called to fill places in those quorums, received their washings and anointings in the little temple of Kirtland, Ohio, and by power and virtue of the gifts of that endowment have borne the keys of the kingdom up to the present time; and we are all witnesses of the great blessings that have attended their ministrations.  The gospel has been preached to almost every nation and people on earth.  Thousands have been gathered out to the gathering place of the Saints, where ample opportunities are afforded them of learning the ways of life, and other ordinances necessary for the building up of the kingdom of God, have been attended to under the guidance of the Spirit attending the keys given in that holy house.”  (“S. F. D.”, JI 20(23):355, 1 Dec., 1885)

4 Dec.:  Wives and 2nd anointing after death.

“St George Utah

4th Dec 1885

President J. D. T. McAllister

St. George Temple

My Dear Brother

To satisfy a feeling which has been on my mind for some time. I submit the following; My Son George Q. who died in this City when he was 18 years and 21 days old, was very faithful to us as a son, and also in the Holy Priesthood so far as he had opportunity when a Deacon, he was 1st Councilor to the President of the Quorum, which position he filled honorably, untill ordained an Elder, previous to receiving his Endowment. He was appointed Clk of the (p. 2) 1st Quorum of Elders in the Stake, being naturally of a religious turn of mind it seemed natural for him to perform his spiritual duties. He acted as a Teacher in the Ward, with entire satisfaction to the Saints up to the time of his death.

When on his death bed I asked him if there was any thing that he would like me to do for him, he said “I would like you to have some wives sealed to me.” According to this request I have had two girls who died in the Church sealed to him. Two others, apreciating his worth have expressed a desire to have their daughters sealed to him, which will be done. These tokens of respect fills our hearts (p. 3) with joy feeling as we do, that our dear boy was worthy.

Now the question is, do you think he was old enough to receive his 2d Anointing?

Bro McAllister it is not my desire to seek blessings for my sons that they are not entitled to. But I had great hopes in this son, for I fully appreciated his worth, and would like to see that every blessing was put in his reach, to which his faithfulness entitled him.

You as the Prest. of the St George Stake knew him, hence I submit the question to you.

I am very respectfully

Your Brother in the Gospel

/s/ D. H. Cannon

(John D. T. McAllister Papers. Incoming Correspondence. Church Archives. Ms/d/1257/Bx3/fd4.  Bergera collection.)

D H Cannon

St George Temple

4th Decr 1885

Dec 9/ 85

Dear President Taylor

I can fully endorse the words expressed by Bp D. H. Cannon in relation to his son George Q. He lived and died a good young man.

I think you are acquainted with him, as also his Uncle George Q.

I address this to you personally.

God our Father be with you all.

Your Bro. in the Gospel

/s/ John D. T. McAllister

(John D. T. McAllister Papers. Incoming Correspondence. Church Archives. Ms/d/1257/Bx3/fd4.  Bergera collection.)

Decr 9th 1885

President John D. T. McAllister.

St. George Temple.

Dear Brother:

Though the deceased son of Bishop David H. Cannon–George Q.– was quite young when he died, still as he is so highly recommended, you may administer to his representative and the representative of the deceased who have been seal’d to him the ordinance of Second Anointing.

With Kind regards,

Your Brother.

/s/ John Taylor

(First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949. Church Archives. October 1885-March 1886, p. 321. CR/1/20/#10/Vol 10.  Bergera collection.)

Genealogical Missionaries.

“Some of their names were included on the official missionary lists of the Church with a special note that they were going to work on their genealogy.  Some of the brethren also recorded the names of some additional people who had been set apart to serve on this type of mission.  These records show that between 1885 and 1900 at least 178 Saints served as genealogical missionaries. . . .

Genealogical missionaries were also different from others in that there were few if any formal calls made, the members simply volunteered to go.  They were invited to come to Salt Lake City to be set apart by one of the General Authorities and to be given a missionary card.  In addition they were given a clergy discount card which allowed them to travel to Chicago for $6.25.  As they were set apart, they were instructed not only to search for the names of their ancestors, but also to try to preach the gospel to their living relatives.”  (Jessie L. Embry, “Missionaries for the Dead:  The Story of the Genealogical Missionaries of the Nineteenth Century,” BYU Studies 17(3):356-357, Spring, 1977)