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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1904

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1904.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1904.

1904:  3 Mar.:  Proposed purchase of Independence Temple Lot.

“[Meeting in the Temple]  Pres. Winder also reported another meeting held yesterday with himself, Pres. Lund, Elder Clawson, the Presiding Bishopric and Pres. L. W. Shurtliffe to take up the letter of Pres. Duffin relative to the purchase of the Jackson County temple lot of 25-acres.  Pres. Shurtliffe said that he had recently ridden over the land and felt that the church should own it.  After some discussion, Bp. Preston moved that Elder Duffin be instructed to purchase the lot on the most favorable terms that could be obtained.

Elder Geo. A. Smith now moved that we ratify the said action of the brethren.  Carried.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 3 Mar., 1904)

5 Apr.:  Caution:  Non-member received endowments.

“[General Conference, Priesthood Session, Joseph F. Smith speaking] Be careful in giving temple recommends, people should have time to prove themselves.  One man not a member of the Church has recd his endowments.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 5 Apr., 1904)

13 Apr.:  Purchase of Temple Lots in Independence.

“Money were wired to Bro. Duffin to buy the Temple lots in Independence $25,000 dollars for 25 3/4 acres.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 13 Apr., 1904; LDS Archives)

16 Apr.:  Monument to martyrs in style of Sealing Room.

“In the afternoon Prest. Smith, Winder and I went to the Temple and considered the feasibility of building the monument to the martyrs, Joseph and Hyrum Smith in the style of the sealing-room in the Temple.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 16 Apr., 1904; LDS Archives)

15 May:  Marriage under the everlasting covenant.

“The custom of being married by a justice of the peace or by an Elder of the Church in some place other than the Temple of the Lord, seems to be growing among the Saints.  Both ceremonies may be termed civil marriages, for though the presence of the Elder appears to give a religious sanction to the ceremony, yet the contract is in reality a civil one, for ‘their covenant of marriage is not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world.’  It has not been ‘entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed both as well for time and for all eternity.’  I am not now referring to marriages between Saints living far distant from our temple cities, but to those in which the contracting parties may be said to be living under the shadow of holy places.  Here in Utah and adjoining portions of neighboring states the temples are easily accessible, and I submit that only in very exceptional cases should the priesthood have occasion to officiate at outside or civil marriages.  Such marriages imply a want of knowledge of the law of God and the privileges to be obtained by obedience, in which case the blame must fall on the parents, who are commanded to teach their children to pray and walk uprightly before the Lord (Doc. and Cov. 68:25-28); or they imply a determination on the part of a number of our people to give their passions free play and to set at naught the authority of God by marrying unbelievers or those neglectful of His laws.  Assuming the cause to be a want of knowledge, I invite your readers, in the words of Isaiah–‘Come now and let us reason together’ and ‘learn to do well.’

God is the same, yesterday, today, and for ever.  His Gospel has existed even from before the foundation of the world.  In our spirit life we, as obedient sons of God, accepted it, even as Christ, our elder Brother, accepted it.  In the primeval intercommunion of the spirit life, our joy was incomplete, because we had received no earthly bodies, and having no experience of pain, we knew not the joys of pleasure.  We were as children not yet arrived at the age of puberty.  Our spiritual childhood came to an end as one by one we were introduced into the adult earthly life, with its surroundings of temptation and pain.  With the Ancient of Days came marriage under the new and everlasting covenant, but in a few generations the lusts of the flesh swept all God-made restrictions aside, for we read in Genesis 6: ‘That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose.’  The righteous seed, corresponding with the Church of today, intermarried with those who were outside the law of God, as given to Adam, and they became as a lighthouse is to the mariner–a warning to all future generations.  We know how it ended–‘The Lord said, my Spirit shall not always strive with man,’ and although some of the children of such marriages ‘became might men–men of renown,’ yet ‘God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, and it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth.’  Noah preached obedience to the law for one hundred and twenty years; but the flood came, and only eight souls were found to be ‘sons of God.’

Later, Abraham entered into covenant with God on behalf of himself and his descendants, and being desirous of seeing before he died his son Isaac married, he sent Eliezer, his chief servant, to the faroff land of Mesopotamia, to seek a wife for Isaac from among his kindred.  That this was no idle fancy is shown by the fact that Abraham charged Eliezer by an oath that he should not take a wife unto Isaac of the daughters of the Canaanites among whom he dwelt.  Again, we find that Jacob, another representative of the ‘sons of God,’ was sent by Isaac, at the entreaty of his mother–Rebekah–who feared he might marry one of the daughters of Heth, to Padan-aram, and directed ‘to take him a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban, thy mother’s brother;’ and that as Isaac blessed him, he gave him a charge, saying, ‘Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.’

Later, we find that when the children of Israel had come out of Egypt under Moses, that all intercommunion with the nations was forbidden.  In Deut. 7 it is written: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.  For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods. * * * For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth.  The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people. * * * Wherefore, it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep and do them, * * * He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee. * * * Thou shalt be blest above all people.’

Today, the Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are a special people, and may be described as the fewest, yet we know that they are loved of the Lord and blessed above all people.  Let us be watchful, lest we, like the Israelites of old, fall from grace; for in Judges 2 we find that they failed to keep their covenant with God: ‘And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he said, because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened to my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died.  That through them I may prove Israel whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.’  This is a time of probation for Latter-day Saints.  God is allowing us here in Utah to be mingled with the nations and proved.  Are we, as a people, obeying His commands when we give our sons and our daughters to those unworthy of admission to ‘holy places,’ and to strangers in our midst?  Will our children be stronger in the faith, or do better than the Israelites of old, who, as we read, dwelt among the Canaanites and ‘took their daughters to be their wives and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods‘?  The result shows that they ‘did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God and served Baalim and the groves.’

Passing to the time of Ezra, we find that on his return from Babylon, the princes came to him, saying (Ezra 9), ‘The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the people of the lands; * * * for they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands.’  We are told that at the evening sacrifice, Ezra rent his garment and spread out his hands to the Lord and said, ‘for we have forsaken thy commandments which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, * * * Give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace, or their wealth for ever; that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.’  After this the people assembled and confessing their sin, said, ‘Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.’  Then Ezra the priest stood up and said, * * * Separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from strange wives.  Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.’  A court with judges was constituted, and ‘they made an end with all the men who had taken strange wives.’  The proceedings in connection with these divorces took some three months to complete, everything being done according to law.

Now, perhaps some of us are ready to think that this was a harsh proceeding, and many of us may possibly imagine that we should rebel if placed in this position.  These men and women no doubt loved one another and their children, yet they were called uopn to put them away and to be as strangers to one another in the future.  Do we as Latter-day Saints realize that when we enter into marriages outside the covenant of God, we not only deprive our children of the privilege of being born under the covenant, but that our contract is only for time, and that when in the resurrection the great court shall assemble, it will be useless for us to rebel, and that we shall be separated not only for a time, but for all eternity, from wives, husbands and children, as surely as those Jews were in the days of Ezra?

Is it a specially hard matter for you, fellow Latter-day Saints, to forego the right of marrying one who is not your equal in the sight of God?  Consider, is it a harder matter for you to obey God, than for the Catholic, whose ecclesiastical rules on the question of marriage and divorce are much more stringent than those you are called upon to obey?  In countries where the civil law prevails and all marriages must be by the civil authority, the kRoman Catholic church insists that its members have an additional ceremony performed by a priest, otherwise the civil marriage is not recognized by the church and the parties thereto are cut off from all ordinances and sacraments until they submit to its discipline.  Further, the same church law prevails in the case of a Catholic marrying a Protestant.  Is it a harder matter for you to obey God, than for a member of the Jewish, the Presbyterian, the Methodist or other sectarian church, who is forbidden to marry a Catholic or a Mormon under penalty of disfellowship not only from the church, but from father, mother and all that he holds dear?  Is it an easier matter for you to break the covenant between yourself and your God, and to cut yourself off from fellowship with the Saints, than it is for your would-be life companion to break the rules of man-made churches?  The experience of the Israelites, and of all religious sects, shows that want of harmony on religious questions, entails not only a want of respect for all religions, but, as a rule, infidelity on the part of the children; and in the great day of the Lord they will rise up in judgment against their parents.  Where a member of this Church enters into a mixed marriage, or a marriage outside of the revealed will of God, trouble almost inevitably ensues.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that you will be able to influence  your future partner after marriage.  The experience of our missionaries and of all who have had opportunity of investigation, shows that instead of raising your partner, you are more likely to fall to his or her level.  The Spirit of God, which you once possessed, will find no dwelling place.  Ordinances, prayers, attendance at meetings of the Church, become irksome, and are neglected–the home becomes a Godless one.  The Lord has said, ‘My Spirit shall not always strive with man.’  No member of Christ’s Church can ignore the requirements of God in this, without sacrificing harmony and peace in this life, and the glories and blessings of eternity, for He has said, ‘If a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, * * * and it shall be said unto them, ye shall come forth in the first resurrection, * * * and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths,–then shall it be written in the Lamb’s book of life, * * * it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity, and shall be of full force when they are out of the world (Doc. and Cov. sec. 132:19-21).

Ye sons and daughters of Saints, live lives worthy of your high and holy calling–live lives which will enable you to join hands over the altar in holy places, and hand down to your children the birthright your parents fought and died for.  Give it not away for a mess of pottage.  Accept the invitation, ‘Come, let us go up to the House of the Lord,’ in the day of your strength.  Do not put it off till a tomorrow–today is the day of salvation.  The grim reaper, like time and tide, waits for no man.  Tomorrow may never come.”  (Frederic Clift, M.D., JI 39(10):292-295, 15 May., 1904)

22 Jun.:  Restrictions on manufacture of garments.

“Talked with Prests Smith & Winder in regard to Knitted Garments by Bro Pond of Boise – they are not in favor of extending our labels outside of Utah.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 22 Jun., 1904)

5 Aug.:  Mission President can’t give temple recommend.

“Met Sister Sumner from Berkeley, Cal. who has come with her daughter to do Temple work.  As the president of a mission can not give recommend to the temple I asked Bishop Beattie to take them up in his ward, and given them a Temple recommend.  this he promised to do.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 5 Aug., 1904; LDS Archives)

12 Aug.:  Restrictions on manufacture of garments.

“Talked with Prest Smith in regard to Passey & Co of Provo making approved garmnts &c.  He requested me to write them that we do not wish to have more factories so engaged.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 12 Aug., 1904) 

31 Aug.:  Only approved garment pattern acceptable.

“Pres. [David H.] Cannon said that none but the proper pattern of knit garments; with brand approved by the First Presidency, will be accepted as garments of the Holy Priesthood.  Other than a white garment the President of the Church cannot be responsible for.  None but the President of the Church has original jurisdiction of Sealing powers.”  (St. George Temple Minute Book, K9368R, p. 370, 31 Aug., 1904)

27 Sep.:  Purchase of Temple Property in Independence.

“At the President’s Office we had a visit from Pres. Duffin who urged us to purchase a piece of property on the temple ground in Independence.  We agreed to pay $4600.00 for it.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 27 Sep., 1904; LDS Archives)

29 Sep.:  Sealings outside temple discontinued.

“[Meeting in the Temple]  Pres. [Jos. F.] Smith said that there was a matter he desired to present to the Council.  Some years ago, he said, the brethren of the Twelve were authorized to perform the sealing ordinance for young people living in distant places such as Arizona and Mexico who could not well go to the temple.  He felt that this practice ought to be discontinued, as the enemy by misconstruction might seek to bring trouble on the church.  Young people who cannot go to the temple should be married by the law of the land, and afterwards come to the House of the Lord at their earliest convenience.  A motion offered by Pres. Lyman to the effect that sealings for time and eternity must be performed in the temple at the altar, and that the practice of sealing outside of the temple be discontinued, was carried by unanimous vote.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 29 Sep., 1904)

Oct.:  Description of Salt Lake Temple and ordinances.

“The three towers at the eastern end, or front, of the building are each six feet higher than the corresponding towers at the west end.  These three eastern towers represent the three Presiding High Priests of the Church, who constitute the First Presidency, whose special province it is to supervise the spiritual affairs of the Church.  In like manner, the three towers at the west end represent the Presiding Bishopric of the Church, whose duty it is to supervise its temporal interests.”  (p. 9)

“The depicted constellation of Ursa Major, with the pointers directed to the North Star, is intended to remind those in doubt concerning the true way, that they should follow the path indicated by the Priesthood.”  (p. 10)

“Since the final services connected with the dedication of the Temple, none but members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in good standing, have been permitted to enter, for reasons which considerate people will readiloy concede are sufficient and satisfactory.”  (p. 22)

(D. M. McAllister, “A Description of the Great Temple Salt Lake City, and a Statement Concerning the Sacred Purpose to Which All Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are Dedicated,” October, 1904.)

Note:  The pamphlet contains a section on “Temple Ceremonies,” with explanations of Baptism for the Dead, Marriage for Eternity, and “Sealing Children,” but not even a hint of washings, anointings or endowments.

6 Oct.:  Temples nearly closed for lack of interest.

“The labor commenced in the St. George Temple on the ninth day of January, 1877, under the direction of our late beloved president, Brigham Young.  President Wilford Woodruff was appointed at that time to preside over the temple.  For the first few years the work performed in that house of the Lord was very great, many people flocking from the northern settlements to attend to the labor necessary for the redemption of their dead kindred; but as the temples in other parts of the country were finished, the work in the St. George Temple very materially decreased, until we had very few in attendance, so few in fact that at one time it was thought proper to close the house in consequence of the small amount of ordinance work that was being performed.  This was in the time of President Woodruff’s presidency over the Church.  When it was mooted, President Woodruff made the remark to us that he expected to keep the temple open so that the people might have the opportunity of entering its sacred precincts and laboring for the redemption of their kindred dead, and if they failed to avail themselves of the opportunity then the responsibility should be upon the people and not upon him; for it was the Lord that had establishe dthe work with which we are identified, and he was satisfied that it would triumph.  [DID THIS HAVE ANY CONNECTION WITH THE CHANGE IN THE LAW OF ADOPTION, WITH ITS INCREASED EMPHASIS ON TEMPLE WORK FOR ONE’S ANCESTRY?]”  (David H. Cannon, St. George Temple President, 6 Oct., 1904; CR Oct., 1904, p. 11)

20 Oct.:  Temple clothing not to be sent to public laundry

“[Meeting at the Temple] It was learned that many of the Latter-day Saints were sending their temple robes and garments to the laundries in Salt Lake to be done up.  This was disapproved, and steps will be taken to correct the evil.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 20 Oct., 1904)

22 Oct.:  Authority to seal outside temples revoked.

“As you are aware, until within a few years ago, the custom prevailed in Canada, Arizona and Mexico for our young people residing in those countries to marry for time only on account of the inconvenience and expense of attending a journal [sic] to a temple, and that in order to save this great expense, and to encourage marriages, among our young people, President Woodruff and President Snow, each in his time, authorized some of the Apostles, and perhaps others, to perform sealings for time and eternity in behalf of young couples of those place, and that this authority has been exercized quite freely to the present time.

The council of First Presidency and Apostles have now deemed it expedient and wise to withdraw with [sic] authority from those brethren, leaving it souly in the hands of him who holds the keys thereof, and a resolution to this effect has been unanimously passed by the council.”  (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund to John W. Taylor, Raymond, Canada.  22 Oct., 1904.  A copy of this letter was also sent to Apostle George Teasdale in Mexico.  Bergera notes)

11 Dec.:  No black in evidence at funeral.

“In the Hall smilax and English ivy were gracefully entwined among the pure white draperies of the stand and catafalque, while palms and ferns, with white cased pots, were arranged to form a decoration of surpassing loveliness.  On either side the casket, stood great vases of white feathery chrusanthemums . . .

A suggestion was made and adopted to the effect that for each [Mutual Improvement] association throughout the world, one flower should be selected and the whole be woven into a blanket to lay over the casket.  The result was indeed beautiful.  In the center of the blanket was a scroll formed of the pure white narcisses flowers, bearing the inscription–‘From your girls.’ . . .

The officers of the near-by stakes acted as ushers.  The choir was composed entirely of girls, selected also from these stakes, under the able leadership of our own music director–Sister Alice Tuddenham, accompanied by our organist, Sister Lizzie Thomas.  What an inspiring sight they made dressed in white!  And with what feeling and expression they sang!”  (May Boothe Talmage, “The Last Rites,” a description of the funeral services of Elmina S. Taylor, former President of the YLMIA, held 11 Dec., 1904; YWJ 16(1):9, Jan., 1905)

13 Dec.:  Alleged oath of vengeance.

“A man by name of J. H. Wallis exposed the endowments.  He said he was required to take an obligation to pray God to avenge the blood of the prophets on the nations.  How hard for a liar to tell the truth!”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 13 Dec., 1904; LDS Archives)

22 Dec.:  The “preacher” in the endowment ceremony. 

“Pres. [David H.] Cannon:  Stated, when the work here started there were no written parts.  President Young asked him to take the part of preacher, and he, speaker, made a lengthy speech.  Pres. Young said, ‘You would not do for a sectarian preacher, you preach Mormonism.’  He told me to preach of a ‘Hell without a bottom’ ‘A topless throne,’ ‘A God without body, parts and passions, etc. etc.'”  (St. George Temple Minute Book, K9368R, p. 390, 22 Dec., 1904)