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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1891

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1891.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1891.

1891:  9 Jan.:  Correction of misstatements concerning endowment.

“We do not believe, as stated by the pretended ‘Mormon,’ that divulging the secrets of the Endowment House, marital unfaithfulness on the part of the wife, leaving the Mormon Church, are unpardonable, or that ‘the only atonement that can be made for any of these offences is the atonement of blood.’  The statement that ‘this doctrine is part of our duty’ is another proof that the writer is not a ‘Mormon,’ and that he does not understand, or else that he wilfully misrepresents the faith which he pretends to explain.”  (Wilford Woodruff to “Editor, Illustrated American,” 9 Jan., 1891.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 3:206)

3 Feb.:  Approval of temple work for suicide victim.

“I answered the mail in the forenoon and then went to the Gardo House and asked Pres. Woodruff if a son whose Father had committed suicide could do a work in the temple for him.  The case is that of Jacob Postel whose father became financially involved in Germany about forty years ago, and being unable to extricate himself he went and killed himself.  He had never heard the gospel and in thus taking his life he was only following the ‘honorable’ methods of his native land.  In view of the circumstances all of the Presidency were united in saying he might have his temple work done for him.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 3 Feb., 1891)

25 Feb.:  Complaints about improper preparation of garments.

“25th Feb. 1891

Dear President Woodruff,

On the 13th of January 1877 A letter was sent to the Bishops, on preparation for Endowments, Signed by President Young, yourself and others. A Copy of which I enclose. To lay before you the matter pertaining to the garment, A very few have carried out these instructions, so far as the buttoning of the garment is concerned, I read now and again to the people, this letter of instruction, as a great share of them from all parts come unprepared. Some wear drawers, and quite a number do not. The garment is left open only so far as the strings are used to fasten them in the front. The navel mark is opposite that part of the body, But when the garment is closed lapped over to button, or tied, My feelings are, it should be in sight opposite that part of the body. Now our instructions are that the mark should be on one side of the opening. But we have not been instructed as to which side. Have you any word in relation to this? 

I feel that we should be uniform in all these matters, and I am thus particular to lay them Before you, and have the word from the head, in relation to them. 

Bro. B. Cannon & Bleak join me in kind regard to yourslef and the brethren,

Your Brother in the N.E.C.

John D. T. McAllister

(Letter from John D. T. McAllister to Pres. Wilford Woodruff; 25 February 1891; Bergera collection)

5 Mar.:  Prayer circle used to assist political candidate.

“In our circle room John W. Taylor was mouth in prayer, and when he had finished his petition Father explained that we had promised to exercise our faith and offer our prayers in behalf of Judge M. M. Estee of California that he might obtain the seat in the U. S. Senate made vacant by the death of Senator Hearst.  We therefore renewed our prayers for this object.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 5 Mar., 1891)

“F. M. Lyman led in offering a general prayer, and Father then prayed for the success of Judge M. M. Estee in his race for the Senatorship of California.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 12 Mar., 1891)

“Bro. Thatcher was mouth in prayer.  We did not dress in our robes.  He prayed earnestly for Mr. Estee’s success in the California election case, but we had not separated before a dispatch was handed Father which read: ‘Estee made a gallant fight, but money and influence were against him.  Feiton is elected.’  We resignedly accepted the result.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 19 Mar., 1891)

9 Mar.:  Ella Jensen vision of the spirit world.

“On the 1st of March, 1891, I was taken severely ill with the scarlet fever, and suffered very much for a week.  It was on the mornign of the 9th that I awoke with a feeling that I was going to die.  As soon as I opened my eyes I could see some of my relatives from the other world.  They were engaged in conversation, and when they disappeared I heard the most beautiful singing, far superior to anything I had ever heard before.  I then asked my sister to assist me in getting ready to go into the spirit world.  She combed my hair, washed me, and I brushed my teeth and cleaned my nails that I might be clean when going before my Maker.  All this time, and for six hours, I could hear the singing still.  I then bade my dear ones good by, and my spirit left my body. 

For some time I could hear my parents and relatives weeping and mourning, which troubled me greatly.  As soon, however, as I had a glimpse of the other world my attention was drawn away from them to my relatives there, who all seemed pleased to see me.  They were holding Sunday school, and Sister Eliza Snow was presiding.  Everything was most lovely.  Everybody was clothed in white.  I saw so many of my departed friends and relatives, all of whom I have mentioned many times afterwards, and with many of them I conversed.  One of my cousins told me that he was much grieved over the way some of the boys were conducting themselves on the earth.  He could see them smoke, drink, and do many things that were wrong.  After having stayed with my departed friends what seemed to me but a very short time, yet it lasted several hours, I heard Apostle Lorenzo Snow administer to me, telling me that I must come back, as I had some work to do on the earth yet.  I was loath to leave the heavenly place, but told my friends that I must leave them.  The last I heard was the singing of the hymn ‘Gladly meeting, kindly greeting,’ and while the beautiful strains died away I once more opened my eyes in this world of trouble and woe, and saw my beloved ones here.  But for a long times afterwards I had a great desire to go back to the place of heavenly rest, where I dwelt so short a time.”  (Ella Jensen, YWJ 4(4):165, Jan., 1893)

12 Mar.:  Proxy work immediately after one’s death.

“Mr Le Grande C Layton of Leipute, Colorado, A gentleman Pres Woodruff became acquainted with about 1 year ago and who became converted to Mormonism arrived in this city last Thursday & put up at the Continental Hotel, he had been stricken with paralysis in the East & cam here to be baptized.  Pres Woodruff did not Know he was here until last evening & sent apostle John Henry Smith to see him this morning.  he found that Mr. Layton died at 4 p. m. yesterday.  he was born in the State of New York & is 38 years old.  this was a sudden blow to Pres Woodruff.  He wrote to Pres J. D T Mcallister at St George Temple to have him baptised for & endowed.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 13 Mar., 1891)

29 Mar.:  White bunting for D. H. Wells’ funeral.

“Nearly all the First Presidency, Apostles and Presidents of Seventies were present.  The stand and organ were beautifully draped in white.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 29 Mar., 1891)

“The interior of the building had a beautiful appearance, especially to those who were in the auditorium.  There was no aspect of gloom, which is too frequently characteristic of occasions of this kind.  The impression conveyed by the picture presented was such as is made by an exhibit of the emblems and real presence of peace, purity and beauty.  The stands were decorated.  They, including the breastwork and stairways leading to them, were draped with exquisite taste and skill, but not a vestige of black was visible among the embellishments.  The drapery was formed by a wealth of delicate white cashmere cloth, festooned with bows of white satin ribbon, while white tassels hung gracefully at appropriate intervals.  The fronts of the pulpits were neatly relieved with sprigs of evergreen, while at every available point were living flowers, which seemed to smile in their native beauty as they posed gracefully over their respective vases, which were also clothed in spotless white.  The committee who attended to the decorations of the occasion could not well have done their work with greater skill or more refinement of taste.”  (Contributor 12(7):247, May, 1891)

2 Apr.:  H. J. Grant to belong to Joseph Smith.

“[Heber J. Grant speaking in meeting of the 1st Pres. and 12] When I was called to the apostleship I felt so unworthy that I desired to decline the honor.  Even after my ordination this feeling continued until about three months later while on a mission with Brigham Young Jr. in Arizona I was one day riding alone and thinking of my unworthiness, when the Spirit impressed me just as though a voice had spoken, ‘You were not worthy but the Prophet Joseph, to whom you will belong in the next world, and your father have interceded for you that you might be called, and now it remains for you to prove yourself worthy.'”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 2 Apr., 1891)

2 Apr.:  Manifesto and temple work.

“Thereafter Pres. Woodruff spoke:  In the name of Jesus Christ I say that God has not forsaken the Presidency or Twelve.  He inspired me to write the manifesto and if he had not done so I should never have taken that course even though all ordinances for the living and the dead had ceased, and our temples had fallen into the hands of our enemies.  The principle of plural marriage will yet be restored to this Church, but how or when I cannot say.”  (Abraham H. Cannon diary, 2 Apr., 1891)

16 Apr.:  Membership recommend precedes temple recommend.

“It is especially important that all persons who remove from one ward to any other should take with them recommends from the Bishop where they reside to the ward where they may locate, stating the Priesthood they hold, and also that the Bishops of the wards where new-comers do settle should interest themselves to obtain the recommends of such persons at the earliest convenience, that their membership in the wards may be early secured and known.  A great general neglect of this has already occasioned much difficulty to many who have desired admission to the Temples, but failing to establish their membership have been put to grevious disappointment in seeking for their recommends.”  (Franklin D. Richards (Church Historian) to Andrew Jenson, 16 Apr., 1891; in Autobiography of Andrew Jenson, p. 193)

23 Apr.-6 May:  Extensive temple work for own family.

“[23 Apr.] Going to the Temple for my Dead once a week. . . .

[6 May] During this month I finished the work for Kindred in the Temple as far as I can on My Father’s side, dating back as far as 1564 and on down.  This affords me much satisfaction and pleasure for most surely the Lord has blessed and prospered me in the glorious work and has placed means in My hand to accomplish the pleasing task.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 23 Apr. & 6 May, 1891)

14 May:  Endowed without being ordained.

[Meeting of the 12]  “I asked concerning a young man who some years since passed through the endowment house and was sealed to his wife without having been ordained to any Priesthood.  Is it necessary for him to pass through the Temple or can he be ordained now as an Elder?  the latter course, it was said, is all that is necessary.  Bro. [Marriner W.] Merrill said his son had a similar experience, and Pres. Young directed that he merely be ordained.”  (Abraham H. Cannon diary, 14 May, 1891)

14 May:  Who should be sealed to John Taylor?

[Meeting of the 12]  “John W. Taylor asked what he should do in the case of numerous women who applied to him for the privilege of being sealed to his father.  None of them are such as he would personally desire to take.  The brethren felt it is not right to allow any and every one to be sealed to the dead, and felt that John W. should not consent to having any sealed to his father except such as he could take himself after considering the disparity in ages.  Bro. Merrill said Pres. Taylor felt to protect the interests of Pres. Young in this matter after his demise, and he thought each President of the Church should look after his predecessor’s rights in this respect.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 14 May, 1891)

20 Aug.:  Unrighteous not to be buried in temple robes.

“Bp. Tingey called in and informed that Thomas Biddle ws dead, and that he desired before passing away and it is also the wish of his family that he be buried in his Temple robes.  In view of the fact that for a number of years past, he had led a very intemperate life and that he was in disfellowship at the time of his death, I said that in my opinion it would not be proper or right to grant the request.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 20 Aug., 1891)

15 Sep.:  Nephite temples.

“We may now consider for a few moments to what uses these sacred edifices were put.  We think it will require no argument to prove that they were used, as were all other temples of the people of Israel before the advent of our Savior, as the place where they offered their sacrifices and burnt offerings.  If any testimony is required on this point, we can refer to the statement with regard to the people who gathered around the walls of the temple at the call of King Benjamin.  We are told that the number of people who assembled was so great that they did not number them, and that this people took of the firstlings of their flocks that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings, according to the law of Moses.  The second use to which these temples were put was for the public assemblies of the people of the Church.  We have just cited the case where King Benjamin called all the people together at the temple of Zarahemla.  We have referred to Alma and Amulek preaching to the people in their temples in the land of Zarahemla, and to Ammon and his brethren doing the same thing to the people in the land of Lehi-Nephi and regions adjacent.  We also learn that King Limhi, the son of Noah, sent a proclamation among all his people to gather themselves together at the temple at Lehi-Nephi to hear the instructions he had to give them, when he was making arrangements for their journey to Zarahemla.  And in still earlier days Jacob, the brother of Nephi, assembled the people to hear his words, at the temple built by his brother.  These quotations all show that the temples were used for this purpose, as undoubtedly they were also used for the solemn assemblies of the Priesthood.

We also believe that the temples among the people of ancient America were used for the performance of the same ordinances–baptisms, endowments, sealings and so forth–as are those of the Latter-day Saints at the present day.  This is conclusively shown by the fact that the Nephites had the gospel preached to them in its fullness; and there are some ordinances connected with the gospel that can be administered only in a temple erected to the name of the most high God.  That the Priesthood of the ancient Nephites possessed the same power as was given by Jesus to His Apostles, and as has also been given to the Saints of God in this dispensation, is shown by the words of the Lord Himself to Nephi, the son of Helaman.  He says:

Behold, thou are Nephi, and I am God.  Behold, I declare it unto thee in the presence of mine angels, that, ye shall have power over this people, and shall smite the earth with famine, and with pestilence, and destruction, according to the wickedness of this people.

Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth, shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people.

And thus, if ye shall say unto this temple, it shall be rent in twain, it shall be done.

And if ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou cast down and become smooth, it shall be done.

And behold, if ye shall say, that God shall smite this people, it shall come to pass.  (Book of Helaman, chapter 10, verses 6-10)

What greater power than is here expressed was ever given to any servant of God, either of ancient or modern times?

The zeal of Nephi’s people in building a temple to the name of the Most High God is an example that all God’s covenant children can wisely follow.  Their faith, union and perseverance in this noble work are worthy of the highest praise, and prove how much can be accomplished by a united people, no matter how few their numbers.  It is an example of courage, patience and devotion that we all do well when we imitate.”  (George Reynolds, “Lessons from the Life of Nephi,” JI 26(18):576-577, 15 Sep., 1891)

21 Sep.:  Sealings in Arizona authorized.

“Office of


  of the




P. O. Box B SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. Sept. 21st 1891.


One of the Twelve Apostles.

Dear Brother:

The condition of many of the saints in Arizona in connection with their marriages has been brought to the attention of the First Presidency. We understand that there are many couples in that Territory who are prevented by poverty and other circumstances from going to the Temple to have their sealings, and that many of the children are being born out of the covenant because of this.

We feel to take some action upon this, as it is a great deprivation for Latter-day Saints to not have the privilege of marrying and bearing children in the covenant. In view of this, we have decided to authorize you, as one of the Apostles to dedicate rooms which are now used for prayer according to the holy order, and in those rooms solemnize marriages such as are properly recommended, and which are of the class referred to–that is, marriages of those who are unable, through poverty or some other serious impediment, to go to the Temple of the Lord to be sealed for time and for eternity. The authority is hereby conferred upon you during this present visit to Arizona to attend to cases of this kind, and perform the sealing ordinances for time and for eternity. In doing this, we desire you to be very careful and make a proper record of all such sealings, that every case may be reported here; and in order that this may be done, we furnish you a book in which you will have entry made of all these sealings.

Praying the Lord to bless you upon this mission and in the exercise of this authority,

I remain your brother,

/s/ Wilford Woodruff.”

(Wilford Woodruff to John Henry Smith, 21 Sep., 1891; LDS Archives, Bergera collection)

23 Sep.:  Adoption.

“I conversed with Bro Lund on the subject of adoption & promised to send him what I wrote as dictated by Prest John Taylor on that subject.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 23 Sep., 1891)  [Note:  What did Taylor dictate?]  

7 Oct.:  Manifestation to Woodruff.

[Meeting of 1st Pres., 12, 1st Council of 70, Presiding Bishopric, Stake Presidents and Bishops]  “Pres. Woodruff told of manifestations he had received 50 years ago concerning the temple.  Before the material for its construction had been selected, he knew it was to be constructed of cut granite.  Before Pres. Taylor’s death he dreamed for two nights in succession that he received the keys to the Temple from Pres. Young; and at its dedication he beheld a large number of elders called and sent forth into the world to bind up the law and seal the testimony to the Gentiles.”  (Abraham H. Cannon diary, 7 Oct., 1891)

“At a meeting of the First Presidency, Twelve Apostles, Presiding Bishops, First Presidents of Seventies, Presidents of Stakes and Bishops, held at the 18th Ward Chapel, Salt Lake City, October 7, 1891. President Wilford Woodruff related the following:

Over fifty years ago, while in Boston, he (^I) dreamed that the Saints migrated to the Rocky Mountains, built a Temple and dedicated it; that at the dedicatory services Elders were set apart to go among the Gentile nations to bind the law and seal the testimony. That when after our arrival here, the question was discussed, as to what material should be used in the Temple building, some suggesting brick and others adobe, he (^I) made the remark that it never would be built of anything else than cut Granite. This, so far has come to pass as he (^I) saw it. Just before the death of Prest. Taylor, too, he (^I) dreamed that the Temple was finished; and he (^I) saw the grounds around filled with the Priesthood; and while wondering why the people did not go into the Temple, Prest. Young came up and he (^I, Prest. Woodruff.) asked why the brethren did not enter the building; with that Prest. Young took from his pocket the keys and handed them to him (^me) (Prest. Woodruff) telling him (^me) to open the Temple and let the people in. In thinking the matter over the following morning, he (^I) wondered why it was that Prest. Young handed the keys to him (^me), seeing that Prest. Taylor was alive and that they were not given to him.  The following night, he (^I) received the same manifestation; and addressing himself (^myself) to Prest. Taylor, he (^I) asked him, why he did not come in (to the Temple); he answered that he could not walk. In the morning, Prest. Woodruff said, he (^I) felt that Prest. Taylor would not live to see the Temple finished. A short time before Prest. Taylor’s death, Prest. Woodruff said he (^I) received a letter from Prest. Cannon informing him (^me) of the illness of Prest. Taylor; it also stated that Prest. Taylor’s legs were swollen.” As to this Prest. Woodruff remarked, it was of little consequence whether he lived or not to witness the completion of the Temple; those were things wholly in the hands of the Lord.”  (BYU Special Collections; Mss 188, L. John Nuttall Papers; Container #4, Letter Press Book #4, p. 285. The insertions (^) were added to the press copy in L. John Nuttall’s Letter press book from where this is taken. October 7, 1891.)

15 Oct.:  Burial clothing for excommunicants.

“There is another matter concerrning which questions have been asked.  

Is it proper to clothe those who have been severed from the Church, and who are ot members of the Church at their decease, in their temple clothing for burial?

It is stated that in some places there are members of the Church who take the ground that some of those who have been cut off from the Church should be buried in this manner.  Others differ from them.

Upon this point there should be no difference of opinion among the Latter-day Saints.  Those who are severed from the Church lose all the rights and privileges which they enjoyed as members of the Church.

Would anyone assert that a man who had once been a member of the Church and had been cut off would have the right to partake of the sacrament?  Or, if he had been an Elder, have the right to baptize or to confirm others in the Church, or to administer any ordinance in the Church?

Certainly no person who understands principle would think for a moment that any such action as this would be right.  If, therefore, a man who is severed from the Church loses the right to participate in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, and loses the authority, if he had been an Elder, to administer the ordinances which an Elder has the right to administer, how can it be thought that a man in that condition should be entitled to be clothed, upon his decease, in temple clothing?  He has forfeited, by his misconduct and suffering himself to be severed from the body of Christ, all the blessings pronounced upon him in holy places, and can lay no claim to any promises of that character.  This is so clear that it should not be questioned by any person who understands the consequences of excommunication from the Church.  Every blessing, every promise, every power that is made unto the faithful is withdrawn from and forfeited by the transgressor who loses his standing in the Church.

The Lord has said that He desires His Saints to ‘learn that it is he only who is saved that endureth to the end.’  He also says, ‘blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth.’  This promise is not given to those who do not die in the Lord, or who are not faithful and endure to the end, or who have been cut off from the Church; for the Lord expressly says to His people; ‘Inasmuch as ye are cut off by transgressions, ye cannot escape the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption.’

Any man whose case has been acted upon in that way by the legal authority of the Church can only obtain restoration of those promises and blessings by doing his first works over again–by repenting truly and sincerely, confessing his sins, being baptized and confirmed a member of the Church; and to have the blessings of the temle and the promises which he may have received through its ordinances in full force upon him, he should have them confirmed again upon him by one having the authority.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 26(20):622-623, 15 Oct., 1891)

25 Oct.:  Relationship between Manifesto and temple work.

“[Brigham City Stake Conference]  W. Woodruff Then took the stand & spoke 40 Minuts.  I made the following remarks:

I wish to mak the following remarks upon the principal of Revelation.  Some had thought that Revelation had sceased, But this is not the Case.  The Lord is with us & gives us Revelation.  But I will say for myself that I wish to Avoid saying Thus Saith the Lord as far as I Can when I give the will of the Lord to the people.  In the Days of Joseph Smith it was Thus saith the Lord almost Daily untill the Revelations now embodied in the Book of Doctrins & Covenants had Been given.  Since that day President Brigham Young John Taylor & myself have seldom used the words (Thus saith the Lord) when giving the word of the Lord to the people.

In the 68 Sec of the Book of D & C we are informed that when men speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost it is [the] word of the Lord & Revelation.  I have Received a Revelation and a Commandment from the Lord which I have not revealed to any man  which I shall reveal to this assembly and the Command of the Lord I shall give to this people which is this.  The Lord has revealed to me that there are many in the Church who feel badly tried about the Manivesto and also about the Testimony of the Presidency and Apostls before the Master in Chancery.  The Lord has Commanded me to put the following question to the Saints and those who will give Attention to it shall have the Holy Ghost to be with them to inspire them to Answer that question for themselves and the Lord has promised that the Answer will be to all alike.  The question is this.  Which is the wisest course for the latter Day Saints to persue, to Continue to attempt to practice plural Marriage with the Laws of the Nation against it and the opposition of 60,000,000 of People and at the Cost of Confiscation and loss of all the Temples and the stoping of all the ordinances therein both for the living & the Dead And the imprisinment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the leaders or heads of family in the Church And the Confiscation of the personal property of the People (All of which of themselve would stop the Practice?  Finished on Nov 5th.

[Nov. 5th entry] Finished from Oct 25.  (Or After doing and Suffering what we have through our adhereance to this principle to scease the Practice and submit to the law and through doing so have the Prophets Apostles and Fathers at home so they Can instruct the People and attend to the Duties of the Church, Also leave the Temples in the hands of the Saints so they Can attend to the ordinances of the Gospel both for the living & the Dead?  Now the inspiration of the Lord will reveal to any person which Course wisdom would dictate us to persue And the Latter day Saints throughout Israel should understand that the first Presidency of the Church And the Twelve Apostles are led and guided by the inspiration of the Lord And the Lord will not permit me nor any other man to lead the People Asstray.)”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 25 Oct. & 5 Nov., 1891)

“I have received a revelation and a commandment from the Lord, which I have not revealed to any man, which I shall reveal to this assembly, and the command of the Lord I shall give to this people, which is this:  The Lord has revealed to me that there are many in the Church who feel badly tried about the manifesto, and also about the testimony of the Presidency and Apostles before the master in chancery.  The Lord has commanded me to put the following question to the Saints, and those who will give strict attention to it, shall have the Holy Ghost to be with them to inspire them to answer that question for themselves, and the Lord has promised that the answer will be to all alike.  The question is this:  Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue–to continue to attempt to practice plural marriage, with the laws of the nation against it and the opposition of 60,000,000 of people and at the cost of the confiscation and loss of all the temples, and the stopping of all the ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the leaders or heads of families in the Church, and the confiscation of the personal property of the people (all of which of themselves would stop the practice), or after doing and suffering what we have through our adherence to this principle, to cease the practice and submit to the law, and through doing so leave the prophets, apostles and fathers at home, so that they can instruct the people and attend to the duties of the Church, and also leaven the temples in the hands of the Saints, so that they can attend to the ordinances of the gospel, both for the living and the dead?

Now, the inspiration of the Lord will reveal to any person which course wisdom would dictate us to pursue.  And the Latter-day Saints throughout Israel should understand that the First Presidency of the Church and the Twelve Apostles are led and guided by the inspiration of the Lord, and the Lord will not permit me, nor any other man, to lead the people astray.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 25 Oct., 1891, at Quarterly Conference in Brigham City; reprinted in JI 26(21):671, 1 Nov., 1891)

“[Box Elder Stake conference, Wilford Woodruff speaking] The Lord has revealed to me that many of the Saints are tried because of the ‘Manifesto.’  The Lord told me to ask the Saints this question.  ‘Which is the better way: that the Saints should continue in the practice of plural marriage at the sacrifice of their Temples, tabernacles, etc., and the society of their husbands and fathers who would be sent to prison, or let the matter rest and thus retain our temples in which to perform ordinances for the living and the dead?'”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 25 Oct., 1891)

31 Oct.:  2nd anointing recommend signatures.

“Temple recommends for second anointings still require the signature of the President of the Church.”  (First Presidency circular letter, 31 Oct., 1891)

1 Nov.:  Manifesto and Temple Work.

“The Lord has told me to ask the Latter-day Saints a question, and He also told me that if they would listen to what I said to them and answer the question put to them, by the spirit and power of God, they would all answer alike with regard to this matter.  The question is this:  Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue–to continue to attempt to practice plural marriage with the laws of the nation against it and the opposition of sixty millions of people, and at the cost of the confiscation and loss of all the Temples, and the stopping of all the ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the head of families in the Church, and the confiscation of personal property of the people (all of which of themselves would stop the practice), or after doing and suffering what we have through our adherence to this principle to cease the practice and submit to the law, and through doing so leave the Prophets, Apostles and fathers at home, so that they can instruct the people and attend to the duties of the Church, and also leave the Temples in the hands of the Saints, so that they can attend to the ordinances of the Gospel, both for the living and the dead?

The Lord showed me by vision and revelation exactly what would take place if we did not stop this practice.  If we had not stopped it, you would have had to [no?] use for Brother Merrill, for Brother Edlefsen, for Brother Roskelley, for Brother Leishman, or for any of the men in this temple at Logan; for all ordinances would be stopped throughout the land of Zion.  Confusion would reign throughout Israel, and many men would be made prisoners.  This trouble would have come upon the whole Church, and we should have been compelled to stop the practice.  Now, the question is, whether it should be stopped in this manner, or in the way the Lord has manifested to us, and leave our Prophets and Apostles and fathers free men, and the temples in the hands of the people, so that the dead may be redeemed.  A large number has already been delivered from the prison house in the spirit world by this people, and shall the work go on or stop?  This is the question I lay before the Latter-day Saints.  You have to judge for yourselves.  I shall not answer it; but I say to you that that is exactly the condition we as a people would have been in had we not taken the course we have.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 1 Nov., 1891, Cache Stake Conference, Logan.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 3:226-227)

1 Nov.:  1st resurrection for dead redeemed in temples.

“We have three temples erected in these mountains, and many of the dead have been redeemed in them, and they will have a part in the first resurrection.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 1 Nov., 1891, Cache Stake Conference, Logan.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 3:227) 

6 Nov.:  Church President’s signature no longer required.

“It has been decided that it is no longer necessary for those going to the Temples to attend to ordinances therein to send their recommends to President Woodruff to be by him endorsed.  The signatures of the Bishop and Stake President will be all that is required.  

This decision applies to all ordinances attended to in the House of the Lord, except SECOND ANOINTINGS, which last named will still require the approval of the President of the Church before they can be administered.  This being the decision, Bishops of Wards and Presidents of Stakes will see the increased necessity for care, so that no unworthy person will be recommended for ordinances in the Temples.”  (First Presidency circular letter, 6 Nov., 1891.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 3:228)

10 Nov.:  Church President’s signature no longer required.

“It has been decided that it is no longer necessary for those going to the Temples to attend to ordinances therein to send their recommends to President Woodruff, to be by him endorsed.  The signatures of the Bishop and Stake President will be all that is required.

This being the decision, Bishops of Wards and Presidents of Stakes will see the increased necessity for care, so that no unworthy person will be recommended for ordinances in the Temples.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, 10 Nov., 1891; xerox in Richard G. Moore, “Temple Recommends: Certificates of Worthiness,” 13 Aug., 1979)

13 Nov.:  Church President’s signature no longer required.

“I went to the Gardo & was engaged in addressing envelopes to the Bishops to contain circular pertaining to it no longer being necessary to send Temple Recommds to Prest Woodruff for his endorsement.  The names of the Bishop & Prest of Stake being all that is necessary to admit to the Temples.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 13 Nov., 1891)

14 Nov.:  Discussion of Law of Adoption.

“We had a nice time with Prest. [Jos. F.] Smith after meeting discussing temple matters, especially the law of adoption.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 14 Nov., 1891)

1 Dec.:  “About Temples.”

“The temple of the Lord is as the gate to heaven, located upon the straight and narrow path which leads to eternal lives.  Therein are the ordinances revealed and administered by which the power of Godliness is made manifest.  It is peculiarly a house of prayer, a place where sacrifice and offerings are intended to be made; where the people of the covenant make and perform their vows unto the Most High; where the priesthoods are set in order, their functions made known and developed, their obligations and responsibilities set forth, their authorities, powers and generations ascertained and recorded, together with the labors of love which are performed for the living and for the dead.

These are a few of the considerations which are of more immediate interest and importance to those who in their hearts incline to say–with the poet,

Up to thy house will I resort,

To taste thy mercies there;

I will frequent thy holy courts,

And worship in thy fear.

To the faithful and devout worshipers of Almighty God, no place is so desirable as where the spirit present gives sweet communion to man with his Maker, and this sentiment meets a cordial response in the great provision, ‘which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.’

It is within our own experience that we have witnessed how freely the Saints in Kirtland, Nauvoo, and early in Utah, brought forward their means and efforts to erect a temple in each place, for the worship and service of our Heavenly Father.  Scarcely could greater readiness be shown in the erection of their own private homes, than was manifested by many in the erection of those most sacred edifices.

That the spirit of this holy requirement has ever been present with God’s people, is abundantly evidenced by the fact, that wherever they have been permitted to locate together long enough to accomplish it, a temple has been erected, that of the eight sites which have been dedicated only the two in Missouri, have not been erected or are not in progress of erection.

Not only do the Saints of this dispensation entertain this wonderfully peculiar interest in temple building, but it has been the leading sentiment of former dispensations.  When the celebrated patriarch Lehi, who, with his large faimly and a few choice friends left Jerusalem, and located on the American continent, so soon as their means and numbers justified, his righteous descendants fondly united their efforts and erected a temple, after the pattern of the one they     had so devoutly frequented in their former Indean home. Concerning this Nephi informs us that he constructed it after the manner of Solomon’s temple, except that it was not built of so many precious things, for they were not to be found upon the land; but that the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine; and that it was accomplished within about 30 years from the time they left Jerusalem.  There were others erected in Lehi-Nephi, Zarahemla, Bountiful, and other places, but this is the only one of which we have any description, on this land.

The prophet Mormon, however, states, that he has not given a hundreth part of the information he possessed upon this subject in his abridgment, from which we infer that there were many temples in the great cities scattered over this broad land, all of which adds confirmation to the importance and necessity of temples, which His people are always commanded to build unto His most holy name. . . .

In pursuing this subject we find ourselves brought to this necessary inference:  that forasmuch as Enoch gathered out the righteous of his vast generation into a city which he was between three and four centuries in building and sanctifying for translation; and finding as we do, that their business affairs, and secular arrangements were of so high an order that there were no poor among them; and finding also, on record, that the Lord said to Enoch, ‘behold mine abode forever,’ these facts together with the statement that His people are always so commanded, renders it quite certain that Enoch must have had a temple or perhaps several of them, with all necessary equipments, in which to administer the sanctifying ordinances of eternal life, to the people of his great and glorious city.

In view of a return to earth by a people of such exalted and refined civilization, the Lord has planned that a city shall be built, and a nation shall be educated up to a standard of equal intelligence, and virtues, which shall be prepared to associate, do business with, and be found in all relations, social, civil, political or religious, fully the equals, and worthy to receive Enoch’s Zion; with the glorious retinue that shall attend upon the most excellent majesty of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when He shall come to take to himself a kingdom.

In preparation for this, it has been directed that the capital city of the Latter-day Zion, shall contain no less than eight temples, as follows:

1.  ‘House of the Lord, for the Presidency of the high and most holy Priesthood, after the order of Melchisedek, which was after the order of the Son of God, upon Mount Zion, city of the New Jerusalem.’

2.  ‘Apostolic repository for the use of the Bishop.’

3.  ‘The holy Evangelical house, for the High Priesthood of the holy order of God.’

4.  ‘The house of the Lord for the Elders of Zion, an ensign to the nations.’

5.  ‘House of the Lord, for the Presidency of the High Priesthood, after the order of Aaron, a standard for the people.’

6.  ‘House of the Lord, the law of the Kingdom of Heaven, and messenger to the people, for the High Priesthood, after the order of Aaron.’

7.  ‘House of the Lord, for the teachers in Zion, messenger to the Church.’

8.  ‘House of the Lord for the deacons in Zion, helps in government;’ and ‘underneath must be written on each house, Holiness to the Lord.’

The foregoing instructions were given by the Prophet Joseph Smith; and are recorded in his history under date of June 24th, 1833.

Since the Lord has favored us to live in this momentous period of the world’s history, when many people are saying, ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem,’ all Saints should be diligent to learn the eternal worth of that knowledge and those ordinances which shall sanctify them and their generations unto the immortality and eternal lives which are offered in the everlasting gospel, and thereby know how much better it is to be even a door keeper in the temple of the Lord, than to enjoy all the pleasures of sin for a season.”  (Franklin D. Richards, JI 26(23):722-725, 1 Dec., 1891)