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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1888

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TEMPLES, 1888.

1888:  1 Jan.:  If you’ve been endowed, don’t swear.

“A man of the writer’s acquaintance received his endowments in the Nauvoo Temple.  He there made holy covenants with the Lord, as all do who receive these sacred ordinances.  But he was a man of quick temper, easily provoked to anger, and on the journey from Nauvoo would frequently give way to fits of passion with the animals that he drove, and at the annoyances he had to meet.  He yielded to his temper so much that it obtained the mastery over him, and upon very slight provocation he would curse and swear.

The writer was but a youth at the time.  He knew, however, the penalty which God had pronounced, which should follow the taking of His name in vain; and for years it was his opinion that this man would yet die a violent death.

The man of whom we speak came to the Valley in 1847.  Some few years afterwards he, with others, was waylaid by the Indians, and he was shot and instantly killed. . . . 

And we firmly believe that many of the members of our Church who have died violent deaths have had their blood spilt to atone for their violations of the covenants they had made.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 23(1):8, 1 Jan., 1888)

24 Jan.:  Aged encouraged to have 2nd anointings.

January 24th, 1888

President Angus M. Cannon,

Salt Lake Stake.

Dear Brother,–

Your letter in reply to mine upon the subject of second anointings for Brother George Lufkin and Brother James Townsend, has been received and considered.

Whoever attends to the ordinances for Brother Townsend should certainly take his last wife to the Temple with them, so that she might receive the blessing as well as the deceased wife. Is Brother George Lufkin the proper person, who is as worthy as he, who is nearer as heir to the Townsend Family than he is? If he is the proper partyto represent Brother Townsend, under the circumstances you are at liberty to inform him that if he will get his recommendation properly signed, I will endorse it for him to receive his second anointing and to act for Brother Townsend, on condition, also, that he takes Brother Townsend’s surviving wife with him.

Now, in relation to the other subject which you mention–the cases of worthy men and women who are aged who have not had their second anointings, and who, are waiting to have this privilege accorded to them, being counseled by, you not to ask for the privilege. We think such cases deserve consideration, and where you know of aged men and woman who are worthy to receive this ordinance, I would like you to forward their names to me for consideration: and these that we decide as proper persons to receive this ordinance can have their recommendations signed to that effect.

With kind regards,

I am

Your Brother,

W. Woodruff.

(Letter from Pres. Wilford Woodruff, 24 January 1888.  Bergera collection.)

1 Feb.:  Only LDS believe in becoming kings and priests.

“There is no religious body to-day upon the face of the earth, that we know anything about, who believe in being kings and priests unto God, except the Latter-day Saints.

How delightful it is to think that God should inspire His servant Joseph to make such promises unto His people as he made before his martyrdom!  The Lord gave him authority, so he testified, to administer ordinances to his fellow-men and to make promises to them connected with these ordinances that should prepare them to inherit the kingly and priestly dignity.  They were told they should be kings and priests, and were promised thrones, principalities, powers and dominion, in the eternal world.  These promises were administered to them by means of holy ordinances confirmed upon them by the authority of the everlasting priesthood.  This everlasting priesthood God restored from heaven.

How consistent with the scriptures was this action on the part of our beloved Prophet!  How direct a fulfillment was this of the promises contained in the Bible, not to mention those which are made to the Saints in this generation through the revelations that God gave to Joseph!

We are literally a kingdom of kings and priests.  Every faithful man among us who has attained to mature years has received these promises.  All such, when redeemed, can truthfully join in the new song which the Apostle John said should be sung, which we have quoted above.  They will be able to sing this song in spirit and in truth: for the Lord will have made them kings and priests unto God, and has promised them that they should reign on the earth.

It is very interesting to notice how the Prophet Joseph, guided by the Almighty, took the course necessary to fulfill the words of God concerning His servants.

Peter was told by the Savior that he should have the keys of the kingdom of heaven, that whatsoever he should bind on earth should be bound in heaven and whatsoever he should loose on earth should be loosed in heaven.

Joseph received the same power, having been ordained under the hands of Peter, James and John.  It was no presumption on his part, therefore, to seal on earth, with the full assurance that it should be sealed in heaven, and to ordain men to the priestly and kingly dignity on earth, with the knowledge that the ordination and the anointing would be accepted and recognized of heaven.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 23(3):40, 1 Feb., 1888)

24 Feb.:  Washing of man’s feet by wife: 2nd anointing?

“The ordinance of which you speak, and which you say you failed to attend to before the death of your husband, is one that should not be written about, and it cannot be attended to by proxy.  Your husband is dead and, so far as the ordinances [sic] is concerned, it is alright.  If there are any of his children who were not born in the covenant and they are dead, a living child, or children can officiate for them in being sealed to their parents.”  (Wilford Woodruff to Eliza I. Jones, Salt Lake City, 24 Feb., 1888.  Bergera notes)

[Another version from Bergera:]

“Salt Lake City Feb 24th 1888

President Woodruff

Dear Brother

Will you please answer a few questions. I wish to ask. you I am the widow of Thomas. C Jones of your Circle he died soon after we came from Logan Temple working for our Dead and having our 2d Ontingins where we told to attend to the Washing of Feet at home the baby was sick after we came home so I asked Bro Jones when we should attend to it and he said we had better wait till the baby is better but he was taken sick and Died before it was attended to can that be done by Proxy or not as I feel sorry about it for he was a good man and I gave him 2 living Wives and 3 Dead ones and worked hard to help him to keep them.

[Letter from Pres. Woodruff to Eliza I. Jones; Church Archives under date:]

Feb. 24th, 1888.

Mr. Eliza I. Jones

10th Ward, Salt Lake City

Dear Sister:

The ordinance of which you speak, and which you say you failed to attend to before the death of your husband, is one that should not be written about, and it cannot be attended to by proxy. Your husband is dead and, so far as the ordinances is concerned, it is all right.”

(Letter to Pres. Wilford Woodruff, dtd 24 February 1888, from Eliza I. Jones; lOth Ward, Salt Lake City; Church Archives; Wilford Woodruff Collection.  Bergera collection.)

24 Feb.:  “Unsafe” to be sealed to dead non-member.

“You ask a question whether a sister can be sealed to her first husband, who never heard the gospel, if she has embraced it and has married and sealed to another.

We do not consider it safe for a woman in the Church to be sealed to a man who died before receiving the gospel.”  (Wilford Woodruff to Eliza I. Jones, Salt Lake City, 24 Feb., 1888.  Bergera notes)

6 Apr.:  Temple anointing to teach them what is right.

“The Apostle John, in speaking to the Saints in his day, said:  ‘But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you:  but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.’

The Saints in our days have receive this same anointing and they should be in a position to not be dependent upon man to teach and tell them that which is right.  They have had a flood of instruction given to them in days that are past.  This instruction has covered the entire policy of building up the kingdom of God on the earth.  Of this continued instruction they have been to a great extent deprived of late.  It has appeared to be the design of Providence that they should be left to show to the heavens, to each other and to the world whether the truths they have been taught have had the proper effect upon them, or not–whether when left to a certain extent to themselves they will be governed in their daily lives and acts by principle–principle to the truth of which testimony has been borne by the Holy Ghost–or by the spirit and customs of Babylon by which they are surrounded, but from which they are supposed to be gathered out.”  (First Presidency Epistle, 6 Apr., 1888.  In Clark, Messages 3:161) 

18 Apr.:  Keys of “restoration of blessings.”

“In your favor lately received by me you asked, in substance, the following question:  Has the President of the stake or his Counselors the authority to confirm on a man who has been cut off the Church and is afterwards rebaptized, all his former blessings, ordinations and sealings; or is this authority vested only in the President of the Church or the Twelve Apostles?

In reply I will say that the yes of this authority are keys of this authority are [sic] vested in one man only at a time of the earth, but when it is deemed proper to confer such blessings on a repentant man who has been received again into the Church by baptism, he who holds the keys can authorize anyone possessing the apostleship or High Priesthood to reconfer the blessings, sealings, endowments, and priesthood the man formerly possessed and enjoyed.  Should the man have held the Office of a Seventy it is deemed more consistent, with good order, that one of the Twelve or a President of the Seventies officiate when his priesthood is reconfirmed upon him.  If the man has been guilty of any gross infraction of the laws of God it is not deemed desirable to re-impose too many responsibilities on him until he has proven his worthiness by his work and conversation, and then by permission of the General Authorities of the Church.”  (Wilford Woodruff to John E. Rogerson, 18 Apr., 1888.  Bergera notes)

17 May:  Private dedication of Manti Temple.

“A private dedication of the Manti Temple occurred today at which the Underground Apostles were present.  I was invited to be present but owing to my lameness, could not go.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 17 May, 1888)

21 May:  Manifestations during Manti dedication.

“The ceremonies of the dedication of the Manti Temple I do not write.  It is published in the Deseret News.  No pen or words can ever tell it all; it was so glorious, grand and effecting.  The spirit and power of God was there, the glory of God was there, and it shone around some of the speakers; most notably of which was Apostle John W. Taylor and John H. Smith.  Many saw a light surrounding their bodies exactly the shape of the body. . . .

I will here relate some strange manifestations seen and heard during the dedication ceremonies.

Nearly every speaker bore testimony that the Temple was accepted of God and that testimony was with nearly every saint to a remarkable degree.  It seemed to float in the air and could be seen and felt.  Strange sweet heavenly music was heard by some as if it came from the walls, or far up and beyond, I know of 2 or three very deaf persons that heard the music and hundreds of people with good hearing, heard nothing of it.  A bright light was seen about the person of John W. Taylor and Lorenzo Snow, members of the quorum of 12 Apostles.

A small boy looking very pale and seemed frightened asked brother George Taylor if he seen that ghost, a person dressed in white, in the air.”  (Oliver B. Huntington journal, 21 May, 1888)

“To day the Manti Temple was dedicated.  Apostle Lorenzo [Snow] offered the dedicatory prayer after the singing of the hymn ‘Lore we come before thee now.’  While Br Smyth, the chief choirester, was playing a prelude on the organ, heavenly voices were heard in the Temple singing in heavenly melody and sweetnes.  No one could see them but many heard them and testify that such melting sweetness they never heard on Earth before.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 21 May, 1888)

“On May 21, 1888, this House was solemnly dedicated to the Lord.  The dedicatory prayer was offered by Apostle Lorenzo Snow.  The services lasted for three days, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was of a Pentecostal nature.

Several Saints testified to having heard heavenly music before the commencement of the services.  To others the spirits of Brigham Young, John Taylor and Jedediah M. Grant appeared. Others saw light of supernatural origin surround the speakers.

Nor were these manifestations limited to the days of the dedication services.  Heavenly music was afterwards heard by numerous Saints who had the privilege of officiating for the dead in this sacred house, and other proofs of the presence of the power of God were numerous.”  (Janne M. Sjodahl, Temples Ancient and Modern.  Descriptive and Historical Sketches, ca. 1892; p. 19)

“On the first day, just as Professor Smyth was concluding the offeratory–a selection from Mendelssohn–a number of the Saints in the body of the hall and some of the brethren in the west stand, heard most heavenly voices singing.  It sounded to them as angelic, and appeared to be behind and above them, and many turned their heads in that direction, wondering if there was not another choir in some other part of the building.  There was no other choir, however.  Some of the Saints saw the spirits of Presidents Young and Taylor, J. M. Grant and others in the temple, and the heads of some of the speakers were surrounded by a halo of heavenly light during the services.”  (Quoted by George F. Richards, in “Latter-day Temples,” IE 33(7):472, May, 1930; no source given for the quotation.)

“When we dedicated the Temple at Manti, many of the brethren and sisters saw the presence of spiritual beings, discernable only by the inward eye.  The prophets, Joseph, Hyrum, Brigham and various other Apostles that have gone, were seen, and not only this, but the ears of many of the faithful were touched, and they heard the music of the heavenly choir.”  (Franklin D. Richards, quoted in UGHM 15:148, Oct., 1924)

“I was at the dedication of the Manti Temple and heard the singing of the heavenly choir that was there in attendance.”  (Charles Sperry autobiographical sketch; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 9:447, 1966)

“The dedication of the Temple at Manti on May 21st was an occasion of great satisfaction to the Latter-day Saints.  This beautiful edifice has been reared by the devoted labor of over ten years at an expense of about a million dollars, the voluntary contribution of many Saints.  It is a magnificent building and in its finishing and furnishing exhibits a perfection and completeness that no other Temple of modern times has shown.  It is the fifth House of the Lord built in this dispensation, and its dedication to the service of God was distinguished by remarkable manifestations of His favor and approbation.  A joyful and glorious influence was felt by the large congregations which assembled at the thrice repeated services.  To many open visions were given and heavenly singing was distinctly heard, while other delightful manifestations of the presence and rejoicing of angels and the spirits of those who had gone before were witnessed.”  (Contributor 9(9):355, Jul., 1888)

“In the Manti temple the power of God was manifested to a great degree.  I was present at the dedicatory services.  At the opening meeting in the upper main room I heard what seemed to be a choir singing.  The music was heavenly.  I asked a brother on my left if there were any serenaders outside.  He said he knew of none.  The sound came at first from the direction of the southeast corner, and while President Lorenzo Snow was speaking from the upper stand they seemed to be behind and almost over him.  I was thrilled with the music, the words I could not understand; the harmony was perfect.  I said to myself, ‘If Brother Snow heard that music he would not speak now.'”  (John D. T. McAllister, “Temple Manifestations,” Contributor 16(3):147, Jan., 1895)

“MANTI, May 22.–{Special to the DESERET NEWS.}–A great many of the visitors to Manti who were present at the dedicatory services yesterday [21 May], and afterwards enjoyed the privilege of passing through and viewing the various rooms of the beautiful structure, started last evening for their homes and still others this morning, but no diminution in the number present in Manti is aparent today, as hundreds of wagons loaded with people have come in from other settlements this morning.  Tickets for admission to the Temple today were issued to a large number of the residents of Sanpete in addition to those from a greater distance who failed to get admission yesterday.  The number present at the services yesterday probably did not exceed 1,500, but a larger number of tickets having been issued today, the seats were not only filled to their utmost capacity, but the isles were occupied as well.  Many who were present at the dedicatory services yesterday testify to having witnessed miraculous manifestations, such as hearing angelic voices singing while an instrumental prelude to the exercises–a selection from Meldelssohn–was being performed upon the organ, a halo of light around the heads of some of the speakers, and audible voices expressive of praise to God from unseen sources.

After the singing of the opening hymn the dedicatory prayer was read by Apostle Franklin D. Richards.

The choir followed by singing the ‘Dedication Hymn.’

Apostle John W. Taylor said that while passing through the Temple in company with some of his friends he had the spirit of prophecy upon him and had it been appropriate he could have prophesied of things which are coming to pass. . . .

Elder C. H. Wheelock said when he was nine years of age a congregation of worshippers assembled in his father’s house, representing various denominations.  After listening to their differing expressions on the subject of religion he retired to bed and had a dream in which a personage appeared to him and showed him the interior of a Temple, told him that he was a Levite and that it was the duty of the Levites to officiate in such places.  That dream was repeated when he had grown to manhood.  When, after embracing the Gospel, he received a patriarchal blessing, he was informed that he was a literal descendant of Levi, and that he would be a savior to his father’s family.  Was the only one of his family who had joined the Church.  Expected to devote himself to hunting up the genealogy of his forefathers and do a work for them. . . .

Apostle Lorenzo Snow spoke of the glorious time enjoyed and the rich outpouring of the Holy Spirit manifested.  Reminded the Saints of the visits of the Savior and of angels to the Kirtland Temple, and that there was no reason why such visits should not be received here.  Was assured that the Lord had accepted of the present Temple.  Exhorted his hearers to make new resolves to be faithful, to humble themselves and to shun temptation.  Read from the Doctrine and Covenants a description of the vision beheld in the Kirtland Temple, and said that the promises made by the Savior upon that occasion were equally applicable to the Latter-day Saints, and the present occasion.  Assured the Saints that the Lord was pleased with their offering and that His blessings would be showered uopn them in greater abundance than ever before.

The congregation then united in shouting ‘Hosannah to God and the Lamb, forever and ever.  Amen,’ with an effect that was fairly electrifying, after which they were dismissed and allowed to proceed through the various rooms of the Temple and view the rich and beautiful workmanship with which the interior is endowed, which all acknowledged to equal if not surpass anything of the kind they had ever seen.

During the services today many persons in the audience witnessed similar miraculous manifestations to those seen yesterday, and though present did not behold the same every person doubtless felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, was assured that the speakers were prompted thereby, and that the erection and dedication of the Temple was pleasing to the Almighty.  It was truly a day of spiritual feasting.”  (“THE SECOND DAY.  The Proceedings of Tuesday in the Manti Temple.  Spiritual Manifestations Afford Joy to the Saints,” DN 37(20):311, 314, 30 May, 1888)

21-23 May:  Manti Temple manifestations.

“The following statement appears in the Millennial Star of August 13th, being a correspondence from one of the brethren laboring in Manti temple and addressed to President George Teasdale.  Many of the facts presented in it have been given in these columns in a detached from, but the shape in which they now appear renders them specially interesting.

No doubt you have heard from the brethren of your quorum of the good times experienced in the dedication of this Temple, and of the enjoyable times of the 21st, 22d and 23d of May at the services held here.  Enclosed you will find a register of the daily labor from the opening to the end of June; you will perceive the gradual increase of work, and our prospects are bright for future labor in redeeming the dead.  Already over 335,000 have been baptized for in the St. George and Logan Temples up to May 1, 1888.  I know this fact is interesting to you, feeling as you do the great benefit that is derived from this labor and the results that proceed therefrom.  But since my labors here, I have been writing up the dedicatory services, and in addition thereto, have gathered some very interesting items pertaining to this holy mountain of the Lord, and I feel to give some of them to you.  In an early day when President Young and party wer making the location of a settlement here, President Heber C. Kimball prophecied that the day would come when a Temple would be built on this hill.  Some disbelieved and doubted the possibility of even making a settlement here.  Brother Kimball said, ‘Well, it will be so, and more than that, the rock will be quarried from that hill to build it with, and some of the stone from that quarry will be taken to help complete the Salt Lake Temple.’  On July 28, 1878, two large stones, weighing respectively 5,600 and 5,020 pounds, were taken from the Manti stone quarry, hauled by team to York, the U.C.R.R. terminus then, and shipped to Salt Lake City to be used for the tablets in the east and west ends of the Salt Lake City Temple.  You no doubt have seen them yourself, and know Brother Heber’s prophecy has been literally fulfilled.

At a conference held in Ephraim, Sanpete County, June 25, 1875, nearly all the speakers expressed their feelings to have a temple built in Sanpete County, and gave their views as to what point and where to build it, and to show the union that existed, Elders Daniel H. Wells said ‘Manti,’ George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, Jr., John Taylor, Orson Hyde, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Lorenzo Young, and A. M. Musser said ‘Manti stone quarry.’  I have given the names in the order in which they spoke.  At 4 p.m. that day President Brigham Young said: ‘The Temple should be built on Manti stone quarry.’  Early on the morning of April 25, 1877, President Brigham Young asked Brother Warren S. Snow to go with him to the Temple hill.  Brother Snow says: ‘We two were alone; President Young took me to the spot where the Temple was to stand; we went to the southeast corner, and President Young said: ‘Here is the spot where the Prophet Moroni stood and dedicated this piece of land for a Temple site, and that is the reason why the location is made here, and we can’t move it from this spot; and if you and I are the only persons that come here at high noon today, we will dedicate this ground.’

You no doubt have taken a lively interest in the events that have attended the building of This temple until its completion, and the full rich flow of the Spirit of God that was poured out upon the speakers and hearers at its dedicatory services will be things long to be remembered.  There were many manifestations of God’s power and pleasure seen and heard on those memorable days.  The following testimonies were casually obtained:  On the 21st of May, before the opening exercises commenced, Brother A. C. Smith, the chorister, seated himself at the organ, and rendered a piece of sacred music, a selection from Mendelssohn, at the conclusion of which, persons sitting the centre of the hall, and also on the stand at the west end, heard most heavenly voices and singing–it sounded to them most angelic, and appeared to be behind and above them, and they turned their heads in the direction of the sound, wondering if there was another choir in some other part of the Temple.  The following persons (and no doubt many more present) heard the singing and voices: Mary A. Freeze, Salt Lake City; Maxine [?] C. Shipp, Salt Lake City; Bishop Culbert King, Marion Ward, Garfield County; M. B. Shipp, Salt Lake City; Christina Willardsom, Ephraim; President John D. T. McAllister, St. George; Wm. H. Folsom, Manti; Amelia F. Young, Salt Lake City; Elizabeth Folsom, Salt Lake City; Sarah A. Petersen, Ephraim; Henry Beal, Ephraim; Peter Madsen, Brigham City; Henry Gardner, Salt Lake City; and Edwin Standring, Lehi.

A bright halo of light was seen by a number of persons over and around the heads of the following speakers–viz: Lorenzo Snow, Jacob Gates, Robt. Campbell, John Henry Smith, Francis M. Lyman, John W. Taylor and A. M. Cannon.  Brother Canute W. Petersen, of Ephraim, observed this halo around the heads of all the speakers.  While the dedicatory prayer was being offered by Brother Lorenzo Snow, near the middle of the prayer, during a pause, the words ‘Hallelujah, hallelujah, the Lord be praised,’ was uttered by a voice in a very soft, melodious tone, heard by Brother Lewis Anderson, one of our assistant recorders here.

On the 22nd of May, when Brother John W. Taylor was speaking, a bright halo surrounded him, and in that halo the personages of Presidents Brigham Young, John Taylor, and a third personage, whom she believed to be the Prophet Joseph, were seen by Sister Emma G. Bull, of Salt Lake City; also the personage of Brother Jedediah M. Grant was seen by her standing by his son, Brother Heber J. Grant, looking towards him while he was speaking; they were surrounded by a bright halo.  Sister Jane S. Richards, wife of Brother Franklin D., saw five personages, but she could not tell who they were.  A bright halo was seen by Sisters Emma G. Bull, Ellen B. Matheny and Elizabeth H. Shipp, around Brothers John Henry Smith and Francis M. Lyman while they were speaking.  On the 23rd the singing and voices were heard by a number of the members of the choir, and the halo of light was seen around Brothers John W. Taylor and Heber J. Grant by Sisters Amelia F. Young and Elizabeth Folsom.  I was sitting at the foot of the east stand, taking notes of the services; I looked up while Brother Heber J. Grant was speaking, and saw a bright halo surrounding him, whic swayed to and fro as he moved his body.  I laid down my pencil and gazed steadily at him for a few moments.

Sister Rhoda W. Smith writes me the following under date of May 23, 1888:

Our beautiful Temple has been dedicated to the Lord; the long-anticipated time has come and gone.  How my heart swelled and beat with gratitude as I entered its holy walls and took my seat in front of the stand.  The many manifestations of the Holy Spirit that I saw and heard will never, no never be forgotten.  When Apostle Lorenzo Snow arose, a beautiful heavenly light enveloped his head and shoulders; he looked angelic.  In the same manner did the Holy Spirit fall on Brothers Wells, Lyman, Grant, and others that I did not know their names; particularly was the Spirit made manifest through Apostle John W. Taylor.  When he first arose to speak, the same light surrounded him as it did the others; then a bright light, brighter than the noonday surrounded him, from the tips of the fingers on the right hand, up the arm, over the head and shoulders, and down the left arm; it was a glorious bright yellow light, and stood out from three to five inches wide, and the rays from the light formed a glorious soft halo of milky white light all around him.  There was also a column of light receeding obliquely from the back of his head toward the ceiling; it appeared like a beautiful bright sunbeam; his form was reflected on the wall behind, like the sunlight pouring into a closed room through a window; and when he was relating his vision at his father’s deathbed there were two other bright reflections on the wall.  I saw not the substance, but the bright reflections were there, and appeared to be reclining toward him; in fact he appeared to be transformed into a heavenly being, and it did not leave him when he took his seat or removed about the stand.  I asked Sister Squire, who sat beside me, if she saw it.  She said she saw the cloud of white vapor, but not the bright light.  When Apostle Lyman was speaking, I heard strains of heavenly music coming from above; sometimes soft, sometimes louder, as though it might be a choir with music, wafting to and fro in air.  These manifestations I saw and heard during the dedicatory services Wednesday, May 23.

Now, my dear brother, you can realize to the full the great and rich blessings that were poured out upon us here, and that full free flow of the Spirit of God has been with us ever since, and, I trust, may always remain here.”

(DN 37(34):535, 5 Sep., 1888)

22 May:  Manifestations during Manti dedication.

“Today we have had a greater flow of the Spirit than yesterday.  I had no idea yesterday that it would be possible to have a better time and yet today has been much better than yesterday.  Many of the Saints have had manifestations today.  To day has been the most enjoyable of my life.”  (Heber J. Grant diary, 22 May, 1888; quoted in IE 44(11):693, Nov., 1941)

22 May:  Proxy 2nd anointing for deceased boy denied.


Salt Lake City, Utah, May 22, 1888

Bishop S. A. Woolley,

Ninth Ward, Salt Lake City.

Dear Brother:

I have read with interest your favor of the 16th., in which you set forth the circumstances connected with the life and demise of your son Samuel Henry.

I have no doubt that he was a most excellent young man, as what you say about him is fully corroborated by Brother George Q. Cannon, who appears to have been well acquainted with him. It would give me pleasure to grant the request which you make concerning his receiving his second anointing if I did not have a feeling that there is an impropriety in administering this ordinance to young men, either living or dead, at the present time. In the days of the Prophet Joseph and Brigham this ordinance was not sought for and would not have been administered to any who did seek for it. It was administered only to aged people, or men who were advanced in life, who had been well tried and proved. I have received since President Taylor’s death a number of requests from parents and others whose sons have died, asking me to grant them the privilege of officiating in this ordinance on behalf of their sons. I have invariably declined to grant these requests, because I have felt under the circumstances it would not be proper to do so. Your son will lose nothing by not having this attended to now, and you can comfort your heart with the reflection that you have done all that you can for him at [p.2] the present.

You ask whether a person who has once been married in the Endowment House or Temple, and is left a widow or a widower, commit adultery by marrying again when the ceremony is performed by a justice of the peace or civil officer.

There is a manifest impropriety, which every Latter-day Saint who has had his or her endowments should perceive, in such a person going to a civil officer to have a ceremony of marriage performed. The fact that such a person does so is an evidence that he or she is falling away, because if in good standing a recommendation could be obtained for the Temple, where the ceremony could be performed according to the order which God has instituted. But a person marrying under such circumstances does not commit adultery.

You ask some other questions concerning how many living wives a man must have to fulfil the law.

When a man, according to the revelation, marries a wife under the holy order which God has revealed and then marries another in the same way, he enters into the new and everlasting covenant, and so far as he has gone he has obeyed the law. I know of no requirement which makes it necessary for a man to have three living wives at a time.

I enclose herewith the answer to Sister Fail. I sent it to you that you may see its contents and then hand it to her.

The case of Henry Lovesey and Emma Townsend, which you describe, is not very savory one in all its particulars, and I feel that she had better let the matter rest for the present. I do not feel clear in my mind about breaking the seal “with the [p.3] old man” or consenting to the change that she seems anxious to make.

With kind regards,

I remain Your Brother,

W. Woodruff”

(First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, Vol 18:841-843 CR/1/20/#15.  Bergera collection.)

23 May:  Manti Temple manifestations.

“Manti, May 23, 1888.  {Special to the DESERET NEWS}–Manti and particularly Temple Hill and the roads leading into the city from the north and south presented an interesting and animated scene this morning.

It being understood that the dedicatory services in the Temple would terminate today, people who hoped to gain admission to the Temple were early astir, apparently fearful they might lose the privilege.

As the writer viewed from the tower of the Temple the hosts flocking into the city and trooping up the hill, long before the time for services to commence, he was forcibly reminded of the words of the ancient Prophet, recorded possibly as he viewed, in vision, while looking down through the vista of coming ages, the very scene now presented: ‘Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord’s House,’ etc.

Words are inadequate to express the thoughts which will up in one’s mind as, while alone and surrounded by the heavenly influence that pervades the Temple, he traverses its sacred rooms, corridors and stairways, and gazes in rapture upon the beautiful surroundings which in design and finish and happy blending of colors are so nearly perfect, or views from the windows of the lower towers the lovely panorama spread out before him, extending as it does about thirty miles northward and a long distance to the south–the abode of an industrious, virtuous, contented and happy though persecuted people.  Then, if ever, is one apt to be reminded of God’s marvelous goodness and mercy to His Saints and the obligations they are under unto Him.

It having been made known that such spiritual manifestations as the sight of the spirits of Presidents Young and Taylor, Jedediah M. Grant and others had been seen in the Temple within the past two days, in addition to a halo of light around the heads of some of the speakers, and the hearing of enchanting music, the Saints this morning were all expectancy.

After the opening musical exercises and the reading of dedicatory prayer, Apostle Lorenzo Snow reminded the assembled Saints that the services would be concluded today, and that the Spirit of God had been enjoyed to a marked degree during the past two days.  He said it was their privilege to have another spiritual feast today.

. . . .

Counselor Henry Beal said he felt the present was the greatest privilege he had ever enjoyed.  He had been numbered with the Saints for forty years, but never before felt the power of God to so great an extent as during the past few days, within the walls of the Temple.

. . . .

[Apostle John W. Taylor] predicted that the time would come when the kings of the earth would come bending and pleading for the blessings of the Temple; that it would not be long before President Brigham Young and many others who had died would come to the Temple; that many of the Saints would have the testimony of dead relatives revealed unto them, and also many other precious things.”  (DN 37(20):314, 30 May, 1888)

24 May:  Plans for 2nd anointing room for SL Temple.


Salt Lake City, Utah, May 24, 1888

Elder J. Don Carlos Young,

Architect Salt Lake Temple.

Dear Brother:

I take the liberty of making the following suggestions to you respecting the Temple as they now occur to us, and it is proper that they should be before you for your consideration, that you may be able as you progress to make the necessary arrangements to carry out these suggestions:

A room should be prepared, convenient to the entrance, for the President of the Temple to hold private interviews with parties who may wish his counsel.

Care should be taken to have the Recorder’s Room conveniently situated for the work they have to do, be well lighted, and should have at least one vault immediately connected with it. It must not be understood from this that one vault only is needed in this Temple. The vaults which are to contain books and papers should be well ventilated, and have communication with the outside air.

In the Logan and Manti Temples the rooms designed for the ordinance of second anointing are quite plain. In this Temple the rooms should be as well situated and at least as elegantly decorated as any other room in the building, so as to impress those who receive this sacred ordinance with its importance and elevated and solemn character. It would be well if two small dressing rooms could be near by or connected with it.

A good room convenient for its purposes should be provided for the President of the Temple; also suitable rooms for the Presidency of the Church and the leading authorities.

We shall from time to time, probably, make further suggestions as they may occur to us in regard to the interior arrangements of the Temple. We desire that the greatest pains will be taken by yourself to have everything done in the most perfect manner, and so carefully considered beforehand that we will not be under the necessity of making changes or tearing down work that has already been done. We know that you have labored under disadvantages because of the incompleteness of the plans turned over to you, and also because of the improvements that you have felt compelled to make in those plans. We would much prefer holding the work in abeyance till you can feel sure that whatever is required to be done is done properly, than to have it pushed forward without the plan being well matured. At any time when you wish to submit any questions concerning the work we shall be glad to accord you an interview upon your notifying us to that effect.

It will be well for you to keep this letter where you can refer to it.

With kind regards, and praying the Lord to bless you in the performance of the important labor entrusted to you,

I remain,

Your Brother,

/s/ Wilford Woodruff”

(First Presidency Letterpress Copybook, 1877-1949; Vol 18:858. January 1888 to June 1888. Church Archives CR/1/20/#15.  Bergera collection.)

25 May:  Manifestations during Manti dedication.

“He [Geo. Q. Cannon] told me that at the dedication of the Manti temple there were some remarkable manifestations of God’s power.  Various personages were seen.  Phoebe Beatie saw a person standing behind D. C. Young while he was speaking.  Halos were seen about the heads of several brethren, notably Apostle John W. Taylor.  Voices were heard shouting ‘Hosannah,’ and singing was heard–Bro. John S. Lewis stating that he could distinguish the various parts.  these were encouraging evidences to the Saints that God is pleased with the work done, and still lives to control His Church.”  (Abraham H. Cannon diary, 25 May, 1888)

“Your very encouraging favor of April 30th reached me at Manti where I had gone with a few other brethren to privately dedicate the Temple before the public ceremonies took place, from which we were debarred by circumstances which you will understand.  Those, however, who did have the privilege of being present declared that no such outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord and extent of spiritual manifestations have occurred since the dedication of the Kirtland Temple.  While the eyes and ears of all were not open to see and to hear these things to the extent that were some of them brethren and sisters, yet all testify that the Divine Spirit of love, joy and peace was poured out upon them in rich abundance, and that it was one of the most delightful and happy experiences of their whole life.”  (Wilford Woodruff to C. O. Card, Alberta, 25 May, 1888.  Bergera notes)

“While attending the dedication of the Manti Temple I heard the most beautiful singing I have ever listened to.  I looked around to see where the sound came from, but I could see no one, although my wife heard it too.”  (William Jex, JI 63(8):430, 1 Aug., 1928)

30 May:  Manti Temple manifestations.

“The dedication of a temple to the Most High is among the most important events connected with a revealed dispensation from God to man.  Because of the far-reaching interests and effects involved, the attention of the whole body of faithful Latter-day Saints has been centred in the recent event at Manti.

The sacred edifice so recently dedicated at that place is the fifth structure of the kind that has been completed thus far in the last dispensation, ushered in through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the others being those of Kirtland, Nauvoo, St. George and Logan.  In the first named, as related in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, many of the most important keys and powers pertaining to the establishment of divine truth on the earth were conferred upon the servants of God by heavenly messengers–the Prophets who lived in past ages and held them when they were in mortality.  In that respect the manifestations of a heavenly character witnessed in subsequent sacred buildings of the kind differ from those of the first one erected in this dispensation.  The keys then conferred remain with the living Priesthood, hence a repetitive bestowal is unnecessary.  The keys and powers communicated in the Kirtland Temple remain with the Church and will be forever perpetuated and will be operated until the last son and daughter entitled to salvation reaches the sphere of eternal destiny.

But the Lord manifests His power in His own way at every step taken in the progress of His glorious work.  In whatever shape the manifestations appear they are always appropriate to the needs of His people, for their comfort encouragement and instruction, that they may know that their feet are planted upon the rock of ages.

The most general manifestation to the honest in heart is the still small voice of the Spirit, which quickens the soul, speaks peace to the mind, and gives an unyielding assurance to the true disciple that he is engaged in a work planted on the earth by a divine hand.  Through the power of that Spirit spiritual perceptions are conferred, enabling the possessor to catch occasional glimpses of the other side of the vail.  Hence those who have passed to the beyond are seen by some in houses dedicated to the cause in which the dead are engaged as well as the living.  By the same Spirit the visible appearance of the Holy Ghost resting upon the servants of the Lord is seen, while the sound of spirit voices salute the ears of others, indicating the joy of the departed at the expansion of the work by which the dead as well as the living are to be redeemed.

All these manifestations are spiritually discerned, seen and heard, and without the presence of the Comforter no mortal can realize them.  Yet they may be seen and heard by some and not by others, and the latter yet be in possession of the same spirit, being firm in the testimony which the Holy Ghost imparts, realizing in their whole being that the work is true, by the testimony of Jesus.

That there have been such spiritual manifestations, witnessed and heard by a large number of people, during the late dedication proceedings in the Temple at Manti is not a matter of surprise to any Latter-day Saint.  They comfort the people, however, being an evidence that in the most cloudy times the Lord is with them and gives them an assurance that their ultimate deliverance from every tribulation is a foregone conclusion.  Those who are for them are more and infinitely greater than those who are against them.

There are those who scoff and mock at these things, attributing them to chicanery and deceipt [sic].  They call for ocular and aural proof, placing themselves in the category of a class against whom Christ hurled a pronounced charge and denunciation in his day.  The proof shall not be forthcoming in the shape in which it is demanded.  The Lord will furnish plenty of evidence in His own time and way, and shall cover the scoffer with shame and the mocker with confusion and dismay.  In the meantime if they will not believe honest hearted truthful people they would not believe though one arose from the dead and told them of the correctness of these things.”  (Editorial, “The House of the Lord,” DN 37(20):313, 30 May, 1888)

30 May:  Change from black to white draping at funeral.

“At 12 o’clock I attended the funeral of Apostle Erastus Snow in the large Tabernacle.  Instead of the usual black drapery, the stands were covered with white cloth intermixed with beautiful green foliage.  The innovation was a pleasing and appropriate one.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 30 May, 1888)

“In entering the building [SL Tabernacle] one could not help being struck with the chaste and beautiful appearance of the drapery and floral decorations.  They were confined to the casket and its surroundings, and the stands of the Priesthood in front of which the body was placed.  The large outer receptacle in which the casket proper was laid was covered witn snowy cloth, formed into six panels–two on each side and one on each end–artistically drawn in at the centre to a large white button.  The upper edged was embellished by a running line of evergreens, dotted at appropriate distances with white flowers.  The casket, which was of natural polished wood, was covered with floral emblems of exquisite design.  The four stands were all dressed in white, the draping having been arranged with marked taste and skill.  The snowy ground of the white fabric was relieved by floral wreathing, boquets and emblems, there being four vases containing these beautiful products of nature upon the sacramental table and two upon each of the other three stands above it.”  (DN 37(21):334, 6 Jun., 1888)

1 Jun.:  We are doing the most for mankind’s salvation.

“We are a temple-building generation; and insignificant as we are, we ard doing more for the salvation of the children of men, the living and the dead, than any other people of whom we have any knowledge on the face of the earth, however strong they may be numerically or however wealthy.  These works give us power with God.  They have influence with the heavens.  And though the hostility of Satan is aroused at this growth, the Saints will continue to increase in strength, their faith will become stronger, the heavens will be propitious to them, and they will be brought off triumphant over all the opposition with which they have to contend.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 23(11):173, 1 Jun., 1888)

26 Jun.:  Denial of 2nd anointing to young men.

“June 26, 1888

President Daniel H. Wells:

. . . . You mentioned the name of Brother Lewis Anderson, assistant Recorder. I infer that he is a young man: I have felt impressed not to grant permission for this ordinance (2nd Anointing) to be administered to any but aged and faithful men, and if you can get along without administering this ordinance to him, it would be better.

Wilford Woodruff”

(First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, pp. 135-136, CR/1/20/#16.  Bergera collection.)

30 Jun.:  Renovation of St. George Temple.

“Pres. Mc informed me by note that I was honorably released from night guard while the Temple was being renovated.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 30 Jun., 1888)

3 Sep.:  Freemasonry a “corruption” of the endowment.

“Gave instruction to give nothing but the proper wording when washing, anointing, etc.  Pres. Young once said that Free Masonary is the corruption of the keys and powers of the Holy Priesthood.  So would these Endowments be changed if we were not particular about the proper wording of these ceremonies.  Instructed the recorders to be careful, for a great responsibility rested upon them.”  (Pres. McAllister, St. George Temple, 3 Sep., 1888.  CR 100 14 #2 Volume 8:34.  Historical Department.  Confidential Research Files.  1950-1974.  Church Archives Vault.  Restricted Document.  Bergera notes) 

7 Sep.:  Questions concerning adoption.

“I then went to Bro. D. D. McArthers [McAllister?] and learned from Sister McArther that I would like to see Presidt. McArther in the Temple.  I went and had an interview with him there and propounded the following questions to him.

Qu.  Why is adoption necessary, Ans. To constitute the person a legal Heir to the promises.

Qu.  What is the position of one not adopted, but yet has all the other blessings confered upon him that can be confered on man on earth.

Ans.  He is not legitamatized and cannot enjoy the blessings out of the order of the priesthood.

Qu.  It is proper and safe to be adopted to one who has not his full or 2nd endowments.

Ans.  Yes, for if he continues faithful, he will get them.

Qu.  Why did you advise me to have my mother sealed to another man and be adopted to that man myself.

Ans.  I don’t recollect giving any such advice.

Pres. McAlister said I could remain with Brethern officiating in the endowments, and listen to the teachings as they passed from one degree to another.  I gladly excepted the invitations and enjoyed the privilige very much.”  (Levi Savage diary, 7 Sep., 1888; LC Collection)

19 Sep.:  Genealogical Bureau.


The collection of genealogical information that will enable the Latter-day Saints to perform sacred vicarious ordinance work for the dead is one of the most important subjects that can be contemplated by those who believe in the divine mission of Joseph Smith.  A great many people are anxious to go into the Temples to perform this labor, but are unable to carry out their desire in the absence of necessary information concerning their progenitors.  Some time since Elder A. F. Macdonald conceived the idea of establishing a bureau that would be of practical assistance in this direction to the Saints of Scottish descent.  His idea was to effect an organization through which, by means of an agency, the Scottish records could be copied entire and brought here.  On further consideration, this seemed to be an undertaking too vast and difficult to begin with, but it appeared proper that a beginning should be made, the main object being to obtain genealogical information from the Register Office in the city of Edinburgh, and supply it to applicants at the lowest practicable price–the charges to be barely sufficient to cover the expenses entailed.

President Woodruff has been communicated with on the subject, is fully in accord with the project, and gives it his sanction, the object being purely to further the interests of the work of the Lord.  The following brethren will in the meantime form the directory: A. F. Macdonald, John Nicholson, William Budge, Duncan M. McAllister and Douglas A. Swan.

Brothers Nicholson and Swan being located in Salt Lake City, will conduct the immediate business of the organization, whose affairs will be submitted to the other brethren named at suitable intervals.

Blanks will be prepared which applicants for information will be required to fill out.  The books at the Register Office in Edinburgh are in parishes, one book to a parish.  Consequently it is necessary that the parishes in which the persons regarding whom information is wanted were from, should be stated, or that in which they were baptized.  If the exact date cannot be given, it should be stated as near as may be.

Sometimes the dates of marriages and the parishes in which the ceremonies were performed, form an excellent clue.  The Register often gives the birth and parentage of both parties.  Any other information that can be had should also be given to aid the searcher.  When the parish cannot be stated the county or shire should be named, but the mere naming of the latter might entail the searching of the entire records of the county.

The organization will be known as The Latter-day Saints’ Genealogical Bureau, and those who wish to avail themselves of its services can do so by communicating with the secretary and treasurer, Douglas A. Swan, Box 273, Salt Lake City.

Before any person is allowed to search the records in the Register office, he has to pay one pound sterling, consequently the Bureau will not undertake to procure information for any person who does not remit seven dollars to the secretary, Douglas Swan.  Neither will the Bureau hold itself liable for any failure to procure the information desired.  It will simply do its best to obtain it.  It is not a matter of money or speculation, and the inquirer will have to take all risk in that regard.  The agent in Scotland will have to be remunerated for the labor performed by him.  Providing he is successful in obtaining information for applicants the latter will only receive it on remittance to the secretary of 25 cents for each name included in the list.

Should the project succeed it may extend operations to other parts of the United Kingdom and probably to Europe.

The Bureau will keep a record of all the lists obtained, and to whom the information is furnished.”  (DN 37(36):567, 19 Sep., 1888)

27 Sep.:  John Taylor’s description of garment. 

“On the 27th day of September 1888 he [John Taylor] said:  ‘The time would come when changes would be made in the garment and it was necessary for the brethren to have the correct meaning of the marks, so as to be able to teach the saints at that time.  He said that it was the pattern of the garment given to Adam and Eve in the Garden and it all had a sacred meaning.  The collar–“My yoke is easy and my burden light” (crown of the Priesthood).  The strings on each side–a double meaning:  The strings being long enough to tie in a neat double bow not representing the trinity; the double bow knot–the marriage covenant between man and wife.  The compass–a guide to the wearer as the north star is a guide to those who do not know the way in which they should go.  the square–representing the justice and fairness of our Heavenly Father, that we will receive all the good that is coming to us or that we earn on a square deal.  The navel mark–meaning strength in the navel and marrow in the bones.  The knee mark–meaning that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.  The whole garment is to be a covering and a protection from the enemy.  The sleeves reaching to the wrist and the legs to the ankles.  This pattern was given to Joseph Smith by two heavenly beings.  Further:  the Seventies record of Nauvoo recorded by John D. Lee as General Secretary of the Seventies Quorum at that time, 1845-6, “Parley P. Pratt stated in the Nauvoo Temple that the whiteness of the garment represented the righteousness of the Saints.[“]  Also in the Seventies prayer circle held during a period of several years while I was General Secretary to the First Council, one evening President B. H. Roberts stated that the string connecting the cap with the robe meant union with God.'”  (From Record Book of S. H. Roundy.  N. B. Lundwall attested to “accuracy” of the last two statements and accuracy of copying the Roundy report on Pres. Taylor.  Truth, Aug., 1936)  [NOTE:  SEEMS TO BE ANACHRONISTIC–TAYLOR DIED IN 1887.  CHECK ACCURACY.]

22 Oct.:  2nd anointings to be reserved for the aged and proven.


Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct 22, 1888

President W. G. Smith


Dear Brother:

Your pencil memeranda, dated Oct 18th, showing a list of names of persons in Morgan Stake deemed worthy to receive their second anointings, came duly to hand.

There seems to be some misunderstanding in these matters by you in sending such a formidable list, and in such a manner as the one received. In such an important matter as second anointings it is not expected that the Stake or the Wards are to be hunted over to find names to recommend for such an ordinance. It is only contemplated that we be furnished with the names of those who are deemed worthy by the Presidency of the Stake, and who are quite aged, and whose life and labors in the Church have been such as to entitle them to this blessing. When such names are submitted the ages of the parties should be noted, and you will be informed as to their acceptance before the parties receive any information or their recommends are endorsed to go to the Temple.

Trusting that you will now understand this matter thoroughly and will act accordingly, and with kind regards,

I am, Your Brother,

W. Woodruff”

(First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, p. 763,

CR/1/20/#16.  Bergera collection.)

24 Oct.:  Male endowed without being Elder.

“Prest Woodruff recd a letter from Elder Morgan Richards Jr of Parowan setting forth that a young man Wm C McGregor of Colorado, had been to the Temple at Logan and was married their & obtained his Endowments.  While there on being asked if he was an Elder, he answered yes, believing he had been so ordained – but on visiting his fathers house he learned his mistake  The question now arises are his Endowmnts & marriage void, as he received them while holding the office of a Priest, or shall he be ordained & receive this ordinance again anew.  Prest Woodruff decided that the President of his Stake could ordain him An Elder and confirm all his former blessings upon him.  and it was not necessary to have his Endowments again.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 24 Oct., 1888)

24 Oct.:  2nd anointings to be reserved for the aged.

“Oct 24, 1888

Elder Charles Sperry

. . . . In such sacred matters as second anointings it must be understood that those only who are quite aged, and whose life and labors in the Church entitles them to this blessing shall be recommended by the Presidency of the Stake, and in submitting such names the ages of the parties should be noted.

Wilford Woodruff”

(First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, p. 781,

CR/1/20/#16.  Bergera collection.)

13 Nov.:  Rules regulating 2nd anointings for dead and living.


Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 13, 1888

President D. H. Wells,

Manti Temple.

Dear Brother:–Your letter of Nov. 9th representing the wishes of Sister Sarah Clarke who was sealed to David Wood in Salt Lake City in 1854 to have her second anointings, also to officiate for Brother Wood’s First wife who is dead, has been received.

You say that Brother David Wood received his second anointing in 1867, but neither of his wives was anointed to him at that time because his first wife was not present. You are hereby authorized to administer that ordinance in behalf of Brother Wood’s first wife, and afterwards Sister Smith can also be anointed to Brother Wood. It will be necessary for some persons who have received this ordinance to officiate for Brother and Sister Wood, deceased, and Sister Smith can act for herself. You can arrange about that.

In regard to establishing a rule in such cases as this one, as you intimate in your letter, I do not desire it be so; but prefer that all matters pertaining to this ordinance shall first be referred to me, as also all cases where a liv[p.860]ing man has had his blessings and brings his wife or wives to receive theirs: he and they should first have permission before the ordinance is performed.

With kind regards,

Your Brother in the Gospel,

W. Woodruff”

(First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, pp. 859-860, CR/1/20/#16.  Bergera collection.)

18 Dec.:  Temple vision.


Some time in November last, after having done considerable work in the Temple for my dead, I went to bed as usual, and lay meditating upon Temple work.  I heard the clock strike twelve, when my mind was led away, seemingly a long distance, to the foot of a very high mountain; but by what means I got there I do not know.  I looked up the mountain as far as my eye could reach, and beheld, as if in another world, a multitude of people.  A man came past me and went right in amongst the multitude, who were all very joyful.

While I was looking wonderingly at the happy throng, I saw with unspeakable joy my father and mother near me, looking as they did when alive, only more pleased and happy.  The man mentioned above seemed as he passed among the people to electrify them with joy.  He said to a woman, ‘I have come to let you people know that they are doing a great work down there for you.’  ‘Down where?’ she asked.  ‘There is a place down there called Manti Temple,’ he answered.  ‘How do you know?’ the woman asked; to which he answered, ‘I have just come from there.’  At this the woman broke into exclamations of joy and praise to God, in which the multitude joined.  ‘I must go,’ the messenger said, ‘and let other people know.’  They were unwilling to let him go; but he departed.

The people appeared to increase immensely in number around the place where the information was received, until it seemed like an extensive valley filled with persons who were still gathering and rejoicing, and filling up the space as far as the eye could reach.

At this juncture a strange and unpleasant looking individual came up to me and asked me sneeringly what I wanted there?

‘I have come to the light,’ I answered.  ‘To the lignt,’ he replied gruffly.  ‘Yes,’ said I, ‘to the light; some love darkness more than light, because their deeds are evil, and I have come to the light to make my deeds known.’  Upon this he vanished.

Then it appeared to me that I returned; but how I got back I knew not.  When I awoke the clock struck three, so I had been in the condition I have described for the space of three hours–the happiest three hours I ever spent in my life.

I am now nearly eighty-two years old, and I write this (trusting you will publish it) in order to encourage my brethren and sisters in the great and grand work of redeeming the dead.


Gunnison, December 18, 1888.”


29 Dec.:  Vision of afterlife.


I trust you will give me space in your valuable paper for the following items from this part of the country in regard to a peculiar death scene in the family of Brother A. S. Farnsworth.  Six months previous to the death of his daughter a personage in the form of a woman appeared to her, and conversed with her for some time.  She dreaded to die, thinking her mission was not ended.

From her youth up she had been an obedient and affectionate girl, observed the Word of Wisdom, and in every way had striven to be a good Latter-day Saint.  She was Assistant Secretary to the Primary Association, did most of the writing, and greatly assisted the little ones to sing.  Her mother was President of the Association.  The poor girl lingered for eight weeks and then passed peacefully away.

During the last four weeks of her sickness she earnestly called for the Elders to administer to her, hoping that she might recover.  The messenger that appeared the second time said to her, ‘May, you are coming very soon.’  She told her mother what she had heard, said her time had come and that she felt very happy, and would not want to return only ‘on ma’s account.’  She asked this messenger, ‘Do you answer our prayers?’  ‘Yes, May,’ he said.  ‘Will I get well?’ she inquired; but he answered not a word.  As soon as she told this to her parents their faith failed them in administering any longer and felt ready to give her up, and acknowledge the hand of the Lord.  During the four weeks she was conversing with messengers she saw her future Home but could not describe it.  She felt happy in the thought of ‘going Home,’ as she termed it–it was such a beautiful place.  She told her father to make her coffin fully large, and was prayerful day and night during her sickness.

She was born in Richfield, Sevier Co., Utah, on the 7th November, 1874, and died November 10th, 1888.  Typhoid-fever, at first, changed to inflammation of the bowels.

Her death occurred just six months from the day she first saw the messenger.  Her witness of so many things from the unseen world is remarkable for one so young.  The deceased girl was the daughter of A. S. and Mary Farnsworth.  Her faith was strong until the messenger told her her time had come, when she expressed in earnest desire to go to the Home beyond.

Ever praying that faith may increase among the Saints,

Your brother in the Gospel,

S. S. H.

Mancos Ward, Colo., San Juan Stake.”

(DW 38(1):28, 29 Dec., 1888)