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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1899

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1899.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1899.

1899:    11 Jan.:  Temple work for a suicide.

“Presidents Snow and Cannon at the office.  Elder George E. Woolley, counselor to Bishop Nelson A. Empey of the Thirteenth Ward, Salt Lake City, called to see the Presidency regarding a desire expressed by the widow of George A. Meears to be sealed to her dead husband, after the preliminary Temple work should be done for him.  George A. Meears committed suicide by shooting himself.  He was financially ruined and took this means of ending his trouble.  President Snow consented that the desire of Sister Meears should be gratified.”  (JH 11 Jan,. 1899)

23 Jan.:  Temple work for suicides.


A letter was read from Elder David H. Cannon, President of the St. George Temple, conveying the information that a young married man named Merit L. Wines, a grandson of James M. Shearer Snow, while in an unsound state of mind had committed suicide in California, where he resided.  The grandmother desired to know if Temple work might be done for him.  President Snow decided that in this and in all like cases, where persons committed suicide in an unsound state of mind, Temple work might be done for them.”  (JH 23 Jan., 1899)

25 Jan.:  Proxy endowment for living, disabled woman.


Bishop Robert Morris of the Eleventh Ward met Presidents Snow and Cannon, and represented that an invalid sister named Wallis, a member of his Ward, desired to receive her endowments, but was physically unable to do her own work; she therefore wanted to know if it would be proper for her to receive her endowments by proxy.  Presidents Snow and Cannon consented to this being done, but expressed a desire that the matter be not talked about.”  (JH 25 Jan., 1899)

27 Jan.:  Details of Joseph’s Nauvoo endowment.

“. . . The Josephites, also, deny that the Prophet Joseph ever gave endowments.  Now, I know that he did give endowments to a few of the brethren and their wives in one of the upper front rooms of the Mansion House.  I was not one of the favored ones, but I witnessed the preparations for the same, and saw the making of the clothes.”  (Emily Dow Partridge Young to W. Collins, Esq., Wantagan, Ill., 27 Jan., 1899; in JH 27 Jan., 1899)

2 Mar.:  Cumulative totals of Utah Temple ordinances.

“March 2, 1899.

John Nicholson, Esq.

Salt Lake Temple.

Dear Brother,

Will you be so kind as to send, for use in this office, a statement of the total of ordinance work done in the Salt Lake Temple each year (ending Dec. 31), from the commencement, and also the sum total from the opening of the Temple down to Dec. 31, 1898, and oblige

Your Brother in the Gospel,

J. Jasques.”

[This is followed by a table containing “Ordinances in the Four Temples, from the Commencement to December 31, 1898.”  In addition to baptisms for the dead, there are the following statistics for baptisms for the living:

“Baptisms, First”

St. George: 881

Logan:   1,211

Manti:   1,225

Salt Lake:   0

“Baptisms, Renewals”

St. George:  1,086

Logan:   3,740

Manti:   4,452

Salt Lake:       0

“Baptisms, Health”

St. George:  3,204

Logan:   7.717

Manti:   13,779

Salt Lake:   5,340

[Historian’s Office Letterbook]

(LDS Archives, CR 100/39/2)

5 Apr.:  Pre-marked garments not to be sold.

“Presidents Snow, Cannon and Smith were at the Office until 11 A.M., when they met with the Apostles at the Temple in regular weekly council, the time of which was changed on account of the General Conference, which opens to-morrow.  The Apostles met yesterday at the Temple, and again at 9:30 this morning, it being their regular quarterly meeting.

Present at the Council:  Presidents Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith and Franklin D. Richards; Apostles Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Marriner W. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson. . . .

Brother Merrill informed the Council that Brother Hendrickson of Logan, who manufactured knitted garments, was selling them already marked, and that he had sent word to him requesting that he mark no more of the garments until he had received permission to do so.  The sentiment of the Council was that it was very wrong for Brother Hendrickson to do as he had done, and Brother Merrill was requested to speak to him further upon the subject.”  (JH 5 Apr., 1899)

10 Apr.:  How should women be clothed for burial?

“The First Presidency were at the office, but at 10 A.M. repaired to the Temple block, to hold a special meeting with other general authorities of the Church, Presidents of Stakes and counselors, Bishops of Wards and counselors, etc.; the usual special Priesthood meeting following the adjournment of a general conference. . . .

A question was asked as to whether the faces of the female dead should be covered by the veil, wholly or partially, or left uncovered.  The answer given was that there was no definite instruction on that point, but that it was customary to cover the face and it was well enough to carry out the custom.”  (JH 10 Apr., 1899)

8 May:  No 2nd anointings to non-tithepayers.

“Teach them [the children] to pay their tithing while they are young. You mothers, teach your children that when they get any money they should pay one tenth of it to the Lord, however little it may be. Educate them to pay their tithing in full. Then we will have a people prepared to go to Jackson County. President Smith was talking yesterday about the land of Zion. Yes, surely, this entire continent is the land of Zion, and the time will come when there will be Temples established over every portion of the land, and we will go into these Temples and work for our kindred dead night and day, that the work of the Lord may be speedily accomplished, that Jesus may come and present the kingdom to His Father. He is coming soon, too. But we will not hear His voice until we build up Jackson County. Now we should make the preparation for this. We are not only going to have Zion throughout this continent, but we will have it over the whole earth. The whole earth is the Lord’s The time will come when it will be translated and be filled with the spirit and power of God. The atmosphere around it will be the spirit of the Almighty. We will breathe that Spirit instead of the atmosphere that we now breathe. But now it is for us to make the preparation, that we may be worthy to be called into the house of the Lord and receive our second blessings. I do not want the presidents of Stakes to send any person to our Temples to receive the highest blessings that have ever been bestowed upon man since the world began, until it can be said of him, “He pays his full tithing.” When you find an honest faithful Latter-day Saint who is worthy of receiving His blessings, send him along. I do not care how fast they come. The time is now at hand when the Latter-day Saints can be greatly and abundantly blessed, so that they can make the preparation in its fulness.”  (The L.D.S. Millennial Star, No 35, Vol. LXI, p. 546. The first part of this discourse was printed August 24, 1899. This quote comes from the continuation of the talk and is dated Thursday, August 31, 1899. Edited, printed and published in Liverpool, England. Discourse delivered by President Lorenzo Snow at St. George, Utah, on Thursday, May 8, 1899.  Bergera collection.)

15 Jun.:  No temple recommends to non-tithepayers.

“Presidents Snow and Smith proceeded from the Office to the Temple, to meet with the Apostles at 11 A.M.  Present:  Presidents Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith and Franklin D. Richards; Apostles John Henry Smith, Mathias F. Cowley, Abraham O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson.  The rest of the Apostles were absent on various important errands.

President Snow remarked to those present that he had concluded, and was perfectly satisfied that it was the proper thing to do, to call a meeting of the Presidents of Stakes and as many of the Bishops as could attend, to be held in the Salt Lake Temple, for the purpose of laying before them the law of tithing and the importance of strict obedience thereto.  He had spoken to President Smith about it, and he agreed with him that it was the right thing to do.  He went on to say that the Lord was pouring out upon this nation evidences of his wrath, and that the Saints have no promise that they shall be preserved, unless they observe strictly the law of tithing.  He felt it burning in his bones to have the Saints understand this, and that it is their bounden duty to obey this law.  He also said that he felt that members of the Church should not be recommended to the Temple for sacred ordinances who were not tithepayers.”  (JH 15 Jun., 1899)

16 Jun.:  Nauvoo Endowment, relationship to Masonry.

“Sister B[athsheba] W. Smith . . . said that it was in the lodge room over the store [where] . . . there were two rooms over the store [below]. In one room they had a sheet hung up as a vail [sic], and the first endowments were given there. . . . Joseph gave me permission to stand by the vail [sic] and listen to the ceremony, which I did. . . . Joseph said that Masonry was taken from the priesthood. Our brethren used to belong to these societies, but since the priesthood had been more fully established the brethren have withdrawn from these societies.”  (Salt Lake Temple. Sisters Meeting Minutes, p. 67; Church Archives, Restricted Document; CR/306/66/fd 1; 16 June 1899)

16 Jun.:  Design of temple aprons.

“Some question now arose as to temple aprons, the shape and number of the leaves, and so on. Answer. Joseph said when they could be, they should be made of lambskin with three, nine, five or seven leaves on–an odd number anyway.”  (Salt Lake Temple. Sisters Meeting Minutes, p. 67; Church Archives, Restricted Document; CR/306/66/fd 1; 16 June 1899; Bergera Collection.)

2 Jul.:  Solemn assembly in SL Temple:  Tithing.

“About the 20th of June 1899, I with others received a call or invitation from the First Presidency of the Church to attend a solemn assembly in the Temple at Salt Lake City, Utah on the 2nd day of July 1899.  Accordingly we started June 28, 1899, traveling by rail arriving in Salt Lake City, June 30, 1899.  At the appointed time July 2, 1899 at 10 am we entered the Temple, probably 700 of the Priesthood or authorities from every ward in Zion.  We had a glorious time until nearly 7 p.m. same day.  President Lorenzo Snow declared that it is the word of the Lord to reform in the payment of Tithing.  Whereas this people have not been paying a half of a full Tithing, they are now required to reform and pay a full Tithing.  It was also declared that to observe properly the Law of Tithing would test the faith of many but without a speedy and thorough reformation in the payment of tithing the sad and sorrowful scenes of Missouri and Illinois would return to this people and by a proper observance of this Law with being holy and pure the saints will return to Jackson Co. Mo. in 15 or 20 years, perhaps much less; and that all obstacles will be removed, even if need be by cyclones, earth-quakes and devouring fire.”  (Levi Mathers Savage diary; LC Collection)

17 Aug.:  Design of temple aprons.

“President Snow was at the office, and proceeded thence to the Temple, to meet with the Apostles in regular council.

Present:  Lorenzo Snow, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund, Rudger Clawson.

Brother John Henry Smith brought up the matter of the making of Temple aprons out of native Utah silk, a subject broached by a kinsman of his to President Snow during his recent visit to St. George.  He was told that some of the people there were prepared to make such aprons, weaving the fig leaves into the fabric, and was asked his mind regarding it.  Speaking upon this subject, Brother Lund suggested that the leaves be wrought so as to overlap each other, thus carrying out the idea intended to be conveyed.  It was decided to have the parties submit a pattern.”  (JH 17 Aug., 1899)

14 Sep.:  Non-tithepayers not to receive recommends.

“The First Presidency met with the Apostles in regular council.  Present:  Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund and Rudger Clawson.

. . . .

President Snow remarked that he had learned, during a recent visit to Sanpete Stake, that among the non-tithe payers there were some fifteen persons whose tithing, if paid, would amount to as much as is now paid by the entire Stake.

Brother Lund explained that the sheep men were the richest people in Sanpete Stake, and that as a rule they did not pay their tithing.

Commenting upon this explanation, President Snow remarked that it would not doubt come to this: that such men with their wives and unmarried children would be denied admission to the House of the Lord.”  (JH 14 Sep., 1899)

7 Oct.:  Amnesty given sinners at SL Temple dedication.

“Do you not remember when the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated in 1893, how everybody was allowed to go in there, transgressors and all, because their names were upon the record and they had not been dealth with [excommunicated?]?  The Prophet Wilford Woodruff announced then that the sins of the Latter-day Saints were forgiven them.”  (Francis M. Lyman, CR Oct., 1899, p. 36; 7 Oct., 1899)

9 Oct.:  Don’t delay 2nd anointings until nearly dead.

“[Meeting of the General Authorities; Lorenzo Snow said] . . . Second annointing is to be given to faithful brethren.  It is not necessary, he said, to wait until they are ready to drop into their graves.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 9 Oct., 1899)

“The General Authorities of the Church, with the Presidencies of Stakes, High Councils, and Bishoprics of Wards, met in a priesthood meeting at the Assembly Hall at 10 o’clock this morning.  The First Presidency were there, and all the Apostles excepting President Franklin D. Richards, who is sojourning in California on account of failing health; Elder Brigham Young, who is in the city of Chicago on business; and Elder John W. Taylor, absent with the approval of the Presidency, in order to avoid arrest for unlawful cohabitation. . . .

President Snow invited the Presidents of Stakes to select faithful men and recommend them for second annointings.  He did not want them to wait until men were ready to go into their graves before recommending them.  President Woodruff’s idea was that none but aged men should receive these blessings.  It was not the speaker’s idea, however, nor that of former leaders of the Church.  A great many men in the various stakes were eligible and should be selected to receive these privileges.  He called upon the Stake presidents to give the matter their careful attention, and to be sure and recommend none but true and faithful men.”  (JH 9 Oct., 1899)

19 Oct.:  Tithepayers and temple recommends.

“Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith were at the office, and proceeded thence to the Temple, to meet with the Apostles in their regular weekly council.

Present: Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley and Rudger Clawson. . . .

[The division of the Salt Lake Stake was under discussion.]  On the subject of non-titherpayers, Brother Clawson suggested that the Bishopric of each Ward take up a private labor with them, and that they cease talking about the matter in public.

President Snow added that the Bishops should not be hard upon the members of their Wards if they did not have faith enough to pay tithing; also that they should use wisdom in refusing recommends to the Temple in case of those who were not tithepayers.  The President requested the committee on division of Salt Lake Stake to continue their labors in the way of readjusting the Wards that would be divided by reason of the action taken.”  (JH 19 Oct., 1899)

21 Oct.:  Civil marriage after temple sealing.

“Brother Samuel Thatcher, of Logan, called upon President [Lorenzo] Snow.  He had recently married a woman who was not a member of the Church, and was living with her, not withstanding that he had had a wife (since dead) sealed to him under the covenant of the priesthood.  His Bishop (Brother Lewis) had refused to give him a transfer to another Ward, as being in full fellowship without the case being stated to the President of the Church.  President Snow, after some conversation with Brother Thatcher, who signified his willingness to make amends, wrote to Bishop Lewis, asking him to permit Brother Thatcher to appear before the Ward priesthood meeting, confess his error, and ask to be forgiven.  This done, and forgiveness granted, he would be entitled to the desired certificate.”  (JH 21 Oct., 1899)

8 Nov.:  Keys of endowments for dead given to Brigham.

“The word was given to President Brigham Young by the Prophet Joseph Smith, that the keys of the endowments for the dead would be given to him.  This House was got ready under his immediate direction.”  (James Bleak, St. George Temple Minute Book, K9368R, p. 28, 8 Nov., 1899.  Bergera notes)   

16/23 Nov.:  Dressing in temple clothes for mtg. of 12.

“[16 Nov.]  I attended meeting in the Temple.  We had our temple clothes along.  I proposed that we dress after meeting but Bro. B. Young said our custom used to be to dress before and so it was decided that we dress first.”  [Apparently this custom of dressing in temple clothes had been abandoned some time in the past.]

[23 Nov.]  “I attended meeting in the Temple.  We were not enough to dress in our temple clothes.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 16/23 Nov., 1899; LDS Archives)

21 Dec.:  Authority to perform sealings in Mexico.


Salt Lake Temple, 11 A.M.

Present:  Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, and Rudger Clawson. . . .

Brother Abraham O. Woodruff reported his visit to the Mexican colonies.  At Dublan John S. Robinson was ordained Bishop, to preside at that place.  At Oaxaca he found some young people who wished to be sealed in marriage, and as it would cost them $1,000 in Mexican money to take each couple to the nearest Temple, he had sealed them.  He now asked for authority to perform sealings in that country.

President Cannon expressed himself in favor of authorizing the Apostles to perform sealings in that country, and he stated that this had been done in the life time of President Woodruff.

Brother John Henry Smith remarked that he had sealed a great many couples in that region, and he thought this authority ought to be delegated each time to the Apostle or Apostles who might visit those parts, they to report the same for record purposes in the Temple.

President Snow remarked that it was perfectly clear to his mind that the Apostles should have this authority, and if there was no objection, this understanding would prevail.

Brother Clawson moved that the action of Brother Woodruff be approved, and that the Apostles visiting that country hereafter be authorized to perform such sealings.

Whereupon President Cannon observed, addressing himself to Brother Clawson, that he did not believe in such motions in this Council, that is, motions whereby the members of the Council gave the President authority to do things for which he already had the authority.  This disposed of the motion.”  (JH 21 Dec., 1899)