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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1905

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1905.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1905.

1905:  1 Jan.:  Tribune expose.

“Thus. . . blessed the holy garment’s are put on. A dress of muslin or linen is worn next to the skin, reaching from the neck to the ankle and wrists. Over this a shirt, then a robe of fine linen, and over this a small square apron of white linen or silk, with imitation of fig leaves painted or worked on it. A linen cap and white linen or cotton shoes complete the dress.

“Thus attired the candidates pass into another and smaller room, where `Eloheim’ (Brigham Young) is discovered seated upon his throne. Jehovah, Jesus and Michael (Adam) enter and receive a mandate from `Eloheim’ to `go forth and examine well the boundless realms of space and bring report from thence back to the eternal throne that we may create new worlds and people them with beings who, by slow degrees, shall rise and fill the place of those deceived by satan.'”  (Salt Lake Tribune, 1 Jan., 1905)

16 Feb.:  I got Peter into Temple w/o recommend.

“We arose early to get the folks ready for the temple works.  I went with them and got Peter into the temple as he had no recommend.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 16 Feb., 1905; LDS Archives)

(Smoot hearings:  Smoot had gone once in 25 years.)

Mr. Worthington:  When you were married to your wife, were you married according to what is known here as the celestial ceremony?

Senator Smoot:  I was.

Mr. Worthington:  Not in the temple?

Sen. Smoot:  In the templeat Logan.

Mr. Worthington:  Did you at that time pass through the ceremony which is called taking the endowments?  

Sen. Smoot:  No, sir; I did not.  I will state, however, that I took the endowments before.

Mr. Worthington:  I was just about to ask you that question.  When?

Sen. Smoot:  In the early spring of 1880.

Mr. Worthington:  You were then 18 years old?

Sen. Smoot:  I was then 18 years old.

Mr. Worthington:  Perhaps, as that is a matter to which some importance is attributed here, you might tell us how it came that you took you endowments at that early age? 

Sen. Smoot:  My father was going to visit the Sandwich Islands for his health, and he asked me to go with him.  I of course was very pleased, indeed, to accept the invitation, and before going my father asked me if I would go to the endowment house and take my endowments.  I told him I did not particularly care about it.  He stated to me that it certainly would not hurt me if it did not do me any good, and that, as my father he would like very much to have me take the endowments before I crossed the water or went away from the United States.

(Smoot Hearings, III:183, 1905)

Mr. Tayler:  Senator, you testified respecting the endowment ceremony.  Did you ever go through it more than once?  

Sen. Smoot:  But once.  

Mr. Tayler:  That was before you were married?

Sen. Smoot:  Before I was married.

Mr. Tayler:  You did not take any endowments when you were married?

Sen. Smoot:  I did not.

Mr. Tayler:  But you were married in the temple?

Sen. Smoot:  I was.

Mr. Tayler:  You say you have no recollection of the ceremony in detail?

Sen. Smoot:  I could not give it in detail.

[Note that at the time of this testimony Smoot had not been through the temple for an endowment session in 25 years, even though he had been an apostle for 5 years]

(Smoot Hearings, III:279, 1905)

4 Jan.:  Bathsheba W. Smith affidavit for Smoot hearings.

“Bathsheba W. Smith, being first duly sworn, says that she is over eighty-two years of age; and that she is in feeble health and unable to travel to Washington, D.C., to appear as a witness in the investigation in the matter of Senator Reed Smoot.

Affiant further says that she is, and ever since 1877 has been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; that in January of the year 1844 she took her endowments at the City of Nauvoo, in the state of Illinois, under the immediate direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr., that she has evern since been familiary with the endowment ceremonies, and since the opening of the Salt Lake Temple in 1893 has officiated therein.

Affiant further says that the endowment ceremonies are the same now as they were when she first took her endowments in 1844, and that there has never been any change in them; that there is not now and never has been any oath, covenant or obligation in or connected with the taking of said endowments to avenge the blood of the prophets on this nation, or on any other nation, or on the inhabitants of the earth, and that there is no prayer in said ceremonies to have the blood of the Prophets avenged on this nation or any other nation.”  (Bathsheba W. Smith affidavit, 4 Jan., 1905.  Bergera notes)

25 Jan.:  Work for close relatives to be done by family.

“Prest. [David H.] Cannon said we should seek to do our own work for our immediate relatives when we are able so to do.  If we engage proxies, let them labor for those not so closely related to us.  Our relatives in the other world will ask, why we did not the work for them; by this we shall certainly be confronted.  It is a fact that while we represent the dead, the have, at times, manifested themselves to his knowledge, in this temple.”  (St. George Temple Minute Book, K9368R, p. 398, 25 Jan., 1905)

21 Apr.:  No more sealings outside of temples.

“On April 21, 1905, President Joseph F. Smith wrote in a letter that there would be no sealings out of the temples.”  (LaMar C. Berrett, “A House of the Lord for the Ordinances of the Priesthood,” p. 6, 17 Mar., 1967.  Quotes Joseph F. Smith letter, 21 Apr., 1905, Joseph F. Smith letter book, LDS Archives)  

15 Aug.:  We will not abandon temples.

“No Latter-day Saint can doubt that the endowments were established by the Prophet Joseph, nor that the place for them is in the Temples.  They are sacred and are associated with the principle of the eternity of the gospel covenants.  Is the work of the temple found among any who have seceded from the Church?  Do they baptize for the dead?  The Prophet Isaiah saw the gathering of the people of God in the tops of the mountains and he saw their temples there. . . .

We are not abandoning our temples, nor the ordinances for the dead.  We are not surrendering eternal principles because they are not popular in the world.  We understand them and find spiritual comfort and assurance in their practice.  Temple work is an essential part of the spiritual work of the Church, and men and women can not remain too long indifferent to its sacred influence without sustaining a perceptible loss.  Men and women who are too busy to devote any time to temple work are evidently too busy to serve God as He requires service of them.  Temples are designed to take a permanent part in this Latter-day dispensation and it is quite natural that those who abandon the faith should abandon them also.”  (Joseph F. Smith, JI 40(16):496-497, 15 Aug., 1905)

17 Aug.:  To those sealed previously outside the Temples.

General advice to couples sealed out of temple is to be re-sealed over the altar of the temple–but, first sealing is still effectual.  If it is convenient, re-sealing ought to be done.  (Summary of letter, 17 Aug., 1905; Joseph F. Smith Letterbook; Bergera notes)

22 Aug.:  “Proper disposition in the hereafter.”

“During the life of President Wilford Woodruff, Bro. Isaiah Cox of St. George died, and his wife[s], not feeling satisfied with the course their husband had taken, represented their case to the then First Presidency, and permission was given them to be released from their husband, and acting upon this permission the sealings were cancelled.

About 2 or 3 weeks ago Sister Martha Cox called upon us in behalf of herself and the other two wives, Henryeta and Elizabeth in relation to their present condition; and after dualing [sic] considering the matter, and at the same time paying due respect to the personal feelings of these sisters we suggested that advisibility of their being sealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith or some other one of our leading men, deceased, with the understanding that in the hereafter a proper and righteous disposition should be made of their case.  Sister Martha conveyed our mind in writing to sisters Henryetta and Elizabeth, all of whom have since elected to be sealed, with the understanding expressed, to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and you are hereby authorized therefore to perform the sealings accordingly.”  (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund to President David H. Cannon, St. George Temple, 22 Aug., 1905) 

7 Oct.:  Don’t give recommends too easily.

“[General Conference, Priesthood Session, Anthon H. Lund speaking] Do not give recommends simply because people ask for them and on the other hand do not be too vigorous where people have been in transgression provided there is repentance.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 7 Oct., 1905)

9 Oct.:  No ordinances for suicides & murderers.

“[General Conference, Priesthood Session, Joseph F. Smith speaking] Suicides or murderers should not receive Temple ordinances.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 9 Oct., 1905)

28 Nov.:  Prompting during endowment ceremony.

“Pres. [David H.] Cannon remarked that in the part taken by Peter, James and John may prompt in anything left out but when they return and report their labors to Jehovah, neither Jehovah or Eloheim should prompt them but, if prompting or correction is necessary anywhere at any time, the president of the temple may do so.”  (St. George Temple Minute Book, K9368R, p. 458, 28 Nov., 1905)

9 Dec.:  2nd anointings for dead only if LDS at death.

“The First Presidency desire me to inform you that second blessings are not administered to any accepting those who receive the gospel and are known for their worthiness.  the women therefore referred to in your letter who have been sealed to Elder Beckstrand, but who did not receive the gospel in their lifetime, should not be recommended by your to receive these blessings.”  (George F. Gibbs, Secy. to 1st Presidency, to President Ira W. Hinckley, Philmore [sic], 9 Dec., 1905)

27 Dec.:  No life or spirit left in Kirtland Temple.

“In visiting this once sacred Temple, one cannot but desire to feel the solemn influence that rested upon the Prophet Joseph and the congregation at the dedicational services.  During our visit to the interior of the Temple, the writer entered each of the divisions or the pulpits, and each place where the speaker had stood in the services at the time of its dedication, and tried to realize the hallowed impressions that were felt during the visit of the Savior to Joseph and Oliver.  But he realized, as did all the party, that there was now no life or spirit in the building.  It was indeed a dead temple.  And one could but exclaim, ‘O house of the Lord, how has thy glory departed.'”  (Seymour B. Young, describing trip to Kirtland Temple on 27 Dec., 1905; in JI 41(4):100, 15 Feb., 1906)