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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1890

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1890.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1890.

 1890:  31 Jan.:  Should a dead woman’s face be veiled?

“At the Gardo House the question arose this morning as to whether the face of a woman who has had her endowments should be veiled or not when her coffin is closed on her dead body.  Pres. Woodruff did not decide in absence of any written law on the subject, but Bro. Joseph F. thought the face should be covered as this was the course pursued in early days of the Church, and it was doubtless done in accordance with some instructions of the Prophet.”  (Abraham H. Cannon diary, 31 Jan., 1890)

7 Feb.:  Set apart as genealogical missionary.

“Yesterday I blessed Elder John Luther Dalton of the 5th ward Ogden for a visit and a mission to various states in the Union to visit relatives and search for the genealogy of his ancestors as well as to testify of the work of God unto them . . . and gave him a letter of appointment.”  (Franklin D. Richards diary, 7 Feb., 1890; in BYU Studies 17(3):357, Spring, 1977)

8 Feb.:  Origin of baptism for the dead.

“The father of Pres. Taylor told Bro. Jesse Fox Sr. the following incident in the year 1849 after arriving in this valley:  The Prophet Joseph wrote the instructions concerning baptism for the dead in the house of Father Taylor.  While thus engaged the Prophet mentioned an incident concerning the battle of Waterloo which he had read in some history.  Father Taylor, who fought in this battle, corrected the narration, when Joseph remarked that all history is partial and incorrect.  He then remarked, ‘Father Taylor, you will yet live to see, though I shall not, greater battles than that of Waterloo.  The United States will go to war with Mexico for the increase of her Territory and the extension of slavery, and out of this latter will grow a division between the North and the South in which struggle greater battles than that of Waterloo will be fought.  But,’ he continued, ‘when the bear (Russia) lays his paw on the lion (England) the winding up scene is not far distant.’  This prediction was made before the Saints were driven from Nauvoo and when there was no prospect of either of the above-mentioned wars.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 8 Feb., 1890)

13 Feb.:  Washing of feet following 2nd anointing.

“At Manti Temple.  I was endowed for my Uncle Thomas Wilson, and Emma for his wife, Aunt Mary Emily Wilson, and were sealed for them.  

After that ordinance I and my wife Emma had the great privilege of receiving our second anointings at the hands of President Daniel H. Wells and shortly after I and my wife administered to each the ordinance of washing of feet.”  (Thomas Memmott Journal, Vol. 1  13 Feb., 1890)

16 Feb.:  Christ to come to Temple in 1891.

“In the evening Ward meeting Bro. Palmer occupied the time in a good discourse on the coming of the Savior.  He believes He will come twice in this dispensation–once to His temple in 1891 when He will clothe His servants with power to go among the House of Israel with the gospel, and leaven the Gentiles in their iniquity, and the second time at some later day when he will place his foot on Mt. Olivet near Jerusalem, and will then set in judgment on the nations of the earth.  At this latter time His glory and power will be manifested in the eyes of all men, but at His first coming perhaps very few will be aware of it.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 16 Feb., 1890)

6 Mar.:  Temporary disbanding of 1st Pres/12 Prayer Circle.

“We did not hold our circle meeting today because of the fact that the Court holds that Receiver Dyer can obtain higher rent than is now being paid by the Church for the Gardo House, Historian’s Office and Tithing offices and yards, for which cause bids have been called for and visitors are daily inspecting the premises with a view to renting.  Therefore our altar has been removed from our prayer room.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 6 Mar., 1890)

8 Apr.:  I had my father adopted to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

“Apr. 8. Tuesday. We went up to the Temple, which is a magnificent building standing on the bench above the city. We did some work in the temple. I had my father adopted to the prophet Joseph Smith. I would have been sealed to my father, but as my sisters who were in the church were not present, it was thought best to postpone this work. I received my second anointing also my wife Eliza did. She also acted for my wife Mary Campbell in having her second anointing.”  (Diaries of Joseph Fish, p. 200; Mor/M270.1/F527/BYU Spec Coll; April 8, 1890.  Bergera collection.)

23 Apr.:  Genealogical missionaries set apart.

“At 2 p.m. went to the Historian’s office where I assisted Bro. John Henry Smith to set apart Bros. Wm. Langton and Bailey and their wives to go on genealogical missions to England.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 23 Apr., 1890)

Apr.:  E. Robinson’s description of Nauvoo endowment.

“We here state s few facts which came under our personal observation.  As early as 1843 a secred order was established in Nauvoo, called the HOLY ORDER, the members of which were of both sexes, in which, we were credibly informed, scenes were enacted representing the garden of Eden, and that the members of that order were provided with a peculiar undergarment called a robe.  ‘It was made in one piece.  On the right breast is a square, on the left a compass, in the centre a small hole, and on the knee a large hole.’  This was the description of that garment as given to the writer in Nauvoo, in Joseph Smith’s life time.  It was claimed that while they wore this “robe” no harm could befall them.

In confirmation of this idea, we quote the 2nd verse of the 113th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, Plano Edition, speaking of the Providential escape of Willard Richards, who was in the jail with Joseph and Hyrum Smith at the time they were murdered.

‘John Taylor and William [Willard] Richards, two of the Twelve, were the only persons in the room at the time; the former was wounded in a savage manner with four balls, but has since recovered; the later, through the promises of God escaped “without even a hole in his robe.”‘

It was stated that Willard Richards was the only one of the four, who had on his ‘robe’ at the time, therefore the statement that he escaped through the promise of God, ‘without a hole in his robe.’

To show the character of the oaths taken by the members of that ‘order’ we here state that one of them said to the writer, in Nauvoo, that ‘I could tell you many things, but if I should, my life would pay the forfeiture.’

President Joseph Smith attended the meetings of that ‘Order,’ which were held in the large room in the second story of his brick store building.  One day in June, 1844, the ‘Order’ was in session from morning until evening.  At the adjournment for dinner we saw Joseph Smith come from there, and again after dinner, he returned back to the same place, as in returning from dinner President Smith and the writer walked by ourselves, side by side in intimate conversation, but parted at the store.

Not long after parting with President Smith, wishing to spaek with him, we ran hastily up the stairs to call him out when to our amazement we encountered John Taylor, one of the twelve Apostles, in a long white gasrment, with a white turban on his head, and a drawn sword in his hand, evidently representing the ‘cherubims and flaming sword which was placed at the east of the garden of Eden, to guard the tree of life.’  He informed us Bro. Joseph was in the room.

Here, we understand, and firmly believe, the ceremony originated, as practiced in the endowment house in Utah, including the signs, tokens, grips, garments, girdles, and key words used therein; and that the twelve in Utah conscienciously believe in this and other matters, they are carying [sic] out the measures of Joseph Smith, and that he gave them their endowment, and rolled the burden of the church and kingdom upon their shoulders.”  (Ebeneezer Robinson, The Return 2(4):252, April, 1890) 

3 May:  Go to the temple for your health.

“About noon I went to the Gardo House where Father, Heber Grant, John W. Taylor and myself administered to Della Clawson Cummings whose mind has been somewhat affected since the birth of her last child some seven weeks ago.  Her mother accompanied her.  Heber anointed and Father administered and rebuked most powerfully every evil influence that troubles her.  He then advised her to go to the Temple for a short time.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 3 May, 1890)

3 May:  Don’t let Sunday funerals interfere w/other mtgs.

“[Joseph E. Taylor, counselor in the Stake Presidency, speaking.]  He reminded the brethren of the counsel given of late by President George Q. Cannon in regard to not allowing funeral meetings to interfere with our Sabbath schools and also the counsel given by our late President John Taylor, and by President A. M. Cannon to not allow them to interfere withour sacrament meetings.  This counsel was not observed as strictly as it should be.”  (Report of Salt Lake Stake monthly priesthood meeting, 3 May, 1890; DW 40(21):698, 17 May, 1890)

21 Jul.:  F. D. Richards’ interest in genealogy.

“I arose about 8 o’clock, and as John and the folks were asleep I started to Bro. F. D. Richards’ home.  He was busy on his genealogical records, which he has in a  very nice condition.  These he showed and explained to me.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 21 Jul., 1890)

1 Aug.:  Blessings of the Temple.

“In the temples of the Lord, promises are made to us by the servants of God and blessings sealed upon us concerning the future life that will all be fulfilled.  It is impossible for the human mind to conceive of the glory that the faithful Latter-day Saint will have.  Paul says:  ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.’

No, in having this knowledge the children of the Latter-day Saints have advantages that are very great.  They should be the happiest people in the world.  No doubt they are, because one great reason of unhappiness among men is the uncertainty which surrounds them.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 25(15):466-467, 1 Aug., 1890)

30 Aug.:  Plan to confiscate temples.

“Bro. Winder stated that Ex-Receiver Dyer had told him confidentially that an attempt would soon be made on the part of the government to confiscate the Logan, Manti and St. George temples on the grounds that they are not used for public worship.  Bro. Winder suggested that a letter be sent to these Temple corporations instructing them to have their accounts and records in legal shape.  Pres. Woodruff desired him to map out in writing the items to which the attention of the officers should be directed.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 30 Aug., 1890)

  6 Sep.:  Only 20% of recommends were for men.

[Salt Lake Stake Priesthood meeting]  “Jos. E. Taylor said that of all the recommends signed for temple work only about 1 out of 5 was for men.  This shows that the sisters are more devoted to spiritual work.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 6 Sep., 1890)

24 Sep.:  Manifesto would allow continuance of ordinances.

“I went to Salt Lake and met in council with President Woodruff, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, F. D. Richards, and Moses Thatcher, where President Woodruff had an article read he had prepared for the press of the country declaring to the world that we did not celebrate plural marriages now in the Church and that he counseled the members of the Church not to break the law in relation to plural marriage.  The article was approved by all the brethren present, including myself, which seems the only way to retain the possession of our Temples and continue the ordinance work for the living and dead, which was considered more important than continuing the practice of plural marriages for the present.”  (Marriner Wood Merrill diary, 24 Sep., 1890)

30 Sep.:  Fate of those who die before being able to marry

“Referring to Pres. Woodruff’s late manifesto concerning plural marriage Pres. Snow said: The Lord will not permit any faithful Saint to lose blessings through the acts of the wicked, or because of circumstances over which the individual has no control.  Elder Lorenzo Barnes who was a faithful missionary many years ago in England, was at the time in correspondence with a young lady, in Philadelphia whom he expected to marry, but he died while in the performance of his duty.  Now, though he died without any wife he will not be the loser thereby for the Lord will supply all that is necessary to give him the salvation he merits.  So also will it be with those who are prevented by no act of their own from fulfilling all the requirements of the gospel.–A faithful man, though he may have wayward wives or children, will doubtless have the power hereafter given him to bring them up to a plane of happiness and to exaltation, even though he may have no influence with them here.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 30 Sep., 1890)

30 Sep.:  Sealing of wives to dead bachelor.

“[Moses Thatcher speaking in meeting of the 12] In support of Pres. Snow’s statement that the Lord will amply provide for His faithful servants, I will mention the case of Feramorz Young who died on the ocean, when about 21 years old, while returning from a mission to Mexico.  When he went to the latter country he had no testimony of the gospel though he believed it to be true.  While there the Lord convinced him of its truth and included a knowledge of the principle of plural marriage.  Of the latter he wrote in his journal that he would obey it if he had the opportunity even though he should be required to sacrifice the love of Hattie Hooper, whose love he had gained and appreciated, but who, he feared, did not believe in the principle.  After his death she married his brother Willard.  Subsequently a young unmarried lady who died in this city appeared to her mother and requested that she be sealed to Feramorz, and it was done.  Some time thereafter a young lady who died in Philadelphia, and who was not a member of the Church and had never seen Ferry so far as known, appeared to a Gentile acquaintance in this city and requested her to call on Ferry’s mother, and get permission to have her sealed to him.  Three times did this girl appear to her friend and threw her arms about her neck and would not be dismissed until her friend had promised to do as requested.  The lady called on Sister Young and related the affair, adding that she did not believe in any such ordinances, and the work was done as the dead girl desired.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 30 Sep., 1890)

6 Oct.:  Manifesto approved; connection to sealing power.

“Monday.  Conference convened at 10 a. m.  Singing.  Prayer by President A. O. Smoot.  Singing, after which President George Q. Cannon presented the Authorities of the Church, who were unanimously sustained.  Bishop Orson F. Whitney then read the Articles of Faith, when they were adopted by the Conference by vote.  Then President Woodruff’s late Manifesto regarding the cessation of plural marriages in the Church was read, and on motion of Apostle Lorenzo Snow President Woodruff was declared by the Conference as the only man in the Church holding the keys of the sealing power; hence has the right to issue or put forth such Manifesto to the people, and it was carried by a weak vote, but seemingly unanimous; after which President George Q. Cannon spoke on the plural relations for 30 minutes.  Then President Woodruff spoke on the necessity of his issuing such Manifesto and said it was the impression of the Spirit of the Lord to him.”  (Marriner Wood Merrill diary, 6 Oct., 1890) 

“Pres. Woodruff’s manifesto was then read, and Lorenzo Snow moved that recognizing Pres. W. as the only man who now holds the keys of the sealing ordinance upon the earth, we sustain him in his action in this matter.  The vote was unanimous.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 6 Oct., 1890)

9 Oct.:  Living girls not to be sealed to dead lovers.

“[Meeting of Council of the 12] It is thought wrong for young girls whose betrothed ones die before marriage to go and be sealed to their dead lovers, and thus bind themselves to those to whom they never belonged.  Their earthly prospects are thereby in a measure blighted, as young unmarried men in the Church desire to marry their wives for time as well as eternity.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 9 Oct., 1890)

15 Oct.:  Parents adopted to children?

“After breakfast Bro. Turner took Uncle David and I to the [Logan] Temple where we met Father, Uncle Angus, John C. Naegle, Aunts Mary Alice, Annie and Leonora, Mamie, Rosa and others.  After the company who were to receive endowments had been instructed by Father, we all adjourned to the sealing room and dressed in our robes.  Apostle M. W. Merrill then proceeded to perform some sealings for the dead and adoptions.  Father stood for his father and had Grandmother Ann Acnnon and Ann Dening Goodfellow sealed to him in the proxy of Aunt Mary Alice.  I then stood for Grandfather and Mamie for Grandmother Cannon and had Father, Uncles Angus and David and Aunts Mary Alice, Annie and Leonora adopted to us.  Father then represented John and Uncle Angus ‘son,’ who only lived an hour after birth, and the former being dead, and were sealed to us.  I then changed my clothing and witnessed the sealing of Elizabeth Edwards (Mamie being proxy) to Father, and then the adoption or sealing of five Robertson brothers of Spanish Fork to them.  Mamie then stood for Mother and John C. Naegle, Jos. Hyrum Parry (representing his dead father) his mother, and Rosa Lambert, were adopted or sealed to Father and Mother.  I then assisted in administering to Aunts Mary Alice and Annie.  Some of the company then received their ‘second anointings,’ but as I have not yet received mine I was not present at this ordinance.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 15 Oct., 1890)

27 Oct.:  Woodruff’s vision of completed SL Temple.

“[Pres. Woodruff] Told of many of the manifestations of God to him, and among others of a dream or vision he had before these valleys were discovered by the Pioneers in which he saw the Salt Lake Temple completed and he with many others entered therein.  The Savior appeared there and sent out the Elders in this and other nations to bind up the law and seal up the testimony so that the judgments of God might be poured out upon the wicked without measure.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 27 Oct., 1890)

27 Oct.:  Hosannah Shout at Brigham City Stake Conference.

“We Closed the Conference with the shout of (Hosannah to God & the Lamb) which was a vary impressive & solemn.  It was one of the most interesting Conferences I have attended in the Stakes in these Mountains.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 27 Oct., 1890)

“Bro. Snow added a very few words and, after singing, Conference was adjourned with the shout which was given in the Kirtland Temple at its dedication–‘Hosannah, hosannah, hosannah to God and the Lamb, Amen, Amen, Amen.’  This was repeated three times in a loud voice accompanied by the waving of handkerchiefs.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 27 Oct., 1890)

12 Nov.:  Burial in garments.

“It was decided that Samuel Green of South Jordan who put off his garments 20 years ago & now died shall not be buried in his Temple clothes.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 12 Nov., 1890)

2 Dec.:  Temple work for apostates.

“The question was asked if Temple work could be done for people who were once in the Church, but gradually grew cold and moved away.  The answer was ‘Yes.’  This, of course, when they have not sinned against light and truth.  By special permission of the President cases have even occurred of living wives who are in the Church being sealed to their husbands who died out of the Church.”  (Abraham H. Cannon diary, 2 Dec., 1890)  

8 Dec.:  New garment pattern proposed.

“Sister Zina D. H. Young submitted a Knitted garment something like our garments which is made in the East and asked if such may be marked & have a collar put on it and used as our Temple garment  It was decided that such garments should not be used in lieu of the pattern given.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 8 Dec., 1890)

13 Dec.:  Question regarding adoption.

“In regard to the ceremonies of Adoption, Father Bunker holds that children should be sealed to their parents, but that he did not understand that it was right to seal dead people, that there had not been sufficient revealed upon this principle.  Read article upon priesthood.  Contributor 2 1881.”  (Case of Father Bunker, St. George Stake High Council Minutes, CR-7836 (10) #1 LDS Archives, 13 Dec., 1890)

13 Dec.:  Comments on Lecture at the Veil.   

“[Discussing Father Bunker’s rejection of Adam-God]  In regard to Lecture at the Vail in the Temple it is certainly wrong.  It teaches that Eve was an immortal being and was brought here by Adam.  Did not believe this, thought that Adam was not a resurrected being.  From questions by Coun Cannon believed that Adam was the Archangle and that Jehovah and Michael were persons of spirit, that Elohiem was a person of Tabernacle and the head of all.

Question by Bp. C. N. Smith – would he doubt the doctrine of anyone presiding if it conflicted with any previous taught by Joseph Smith.  Yes.

Coun Cannon related a conversation he held with Prest. Taylor.  Said he did not know that there was anything in the Temple that inferred that Adam was our God.  The Lecture says Adam was an immortal being and Eve the Mother of all living bore those spirits in the Celestial World and Adam and Even came here to form Tabernacles for them to dwell in.  Adam was made of the dust of the earth but not of this earth.

Prest Snow read from Contributor page 283 bearing upon this matter.

Coun Chas. Smith said that the Lecture at the vail teaches us that Adam was created on another earth and that he was resurrected and came upon this earth an immortal being and begat tabernacles for the spirits they had created in the spirit world. . . .

Coun Cannon said the Endowments were organized in Joseph’s brick store in Nauvoo.  Prest Young said he wanted to deliver the Lecture at the vail and 4 men was writing.  and after they had got through, the mems [sic] were given to Prest Young to revise and as he revised it Prest George Q. Cannon wrote it very slowly and after Prest Young’s death it was sent for by the Twelve Apostles and closely scrutinized and there was only one thing changed in it and then accepted by them and no man has any right to say anything against it.

Prest D. D. McArthur gave some instruction.  Believed the Lecture at the vail was correct.  Advised Bro. Abbott to go slow about preaching that Adam was the Father of Jesus Christ.  Thought that we should not discuss these things for no good comes of it.”  (Case of Father Bunker, St. George Stake High Council Minutes, CR-7836 (10) #1 LDS Archives, 13 Dec., 1890)

18 Dec.:  Question of adoption – John Taylor.

“At 2 p.m. I attended my Quorum meeting.  There were present Presdts. Woodruff, Cannon and Smith, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman and myself.  Bros. Woodruff and Richards did not dress in robes as did the rest of us.  Jos. F. Smith was mouth in opening and F. M. Lyman at the altar.  Thereafter we had a long conversation in regard to sealings and adoptions.  The question was asked if a married couple having parents who died out of the Church could be sealed to the same parents.  The answer was in the affirmative.–Bro. Joseph F. Smith rather held to the idea that children should be sealed to their parents even when the latter died without [1 line missing] our ancestry should be extended as far back as it was possible to reach, when the link should be made with the Prophet Joseph who stands at the head of this dispensation and he will form the connecting link with preceding dispensations.  Father [Geo. Q. Cannon] holds that we who live on the earth now and are faithful, will stand at the head of our lineage and will thus become Saviors as has been promised us.  Pres. John Taylor was not sealed to his parents though they died in the Church, as he felt that it was rather lowering himself to be thus sealed when he was an apostle and his father was a high priest; but this is rather a questionable proceeding.”  (Abraham H. Cannon diary, 18 Dec., 1890)   

ca. 1890:  Further questions on propriety of Adoption.

“Even the general authorities were troubled, as is indicated by their desire to modify policies governing sealings to non-Mormon parents and work for distant ancestors.  [Abraham H. Cannon journal, 18 December 1890, photocopy of holograph, C.A.; also J. D. T. McAllister to J. L. Dalton, 15 January 1889, St. George Temple Letterbook, pp. 211-12.]  Their feeling in this regard led to authorization for several members of the Church to be sealed to parents who had not been Mormons.  In others cases adoptions already performed were canceled so that those involved could be sealed to their parents.  Apostle Marriner W. Merrill noted in his journal in July, 1893, that it had been decided that temple presidents were to use their own judgment in regard to some of the policies governing sealing work.  In essence this meant the Church was hesitating midway between two positions.  [J. D. T. McAllister to Erastus Snow, 3 February 1888, St. George Temple Letterbook, p. 87; Wilford Woodruff to M. W. Merrill, 4 April 1894, Woodruff Letterbook, p. 293; Nauvoo Sealings and Adoptions, 1846-1857, Bk A, pp. 517-18, 535-38; Marriner W. Merrill diary, 12 July 1893, holograph, C.A.]”  (Gordon Irving, “The Law of Adoption,” BYU Studies 14(3):311, Spring, 1974)