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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1906

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1906.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1906.

1906:  15 Mar.:  Clothing of dead woman in England.

“Your letter of the 21st of November last I suppose came duely to him [Joseph F. Smith], but was mislaid and only opened a few days ago.  In it you state that a young woman of the London conference, who had returned from here on account of ill health after having received her endowments, was not likely to live long, and in the event of her death you desire to know what ought to be done about dressing her body in temple clothing, that is, whether she might order a temple suit from this city and keep it on hand to be used in case of her death, and whether or not her sister, who had not received her own endowments, might be allowed to be instructed how to cloth the body.

After conferring with President Smith and Lund in regard to this matter, we concluded that it would not be a wise thing for this sister to keep on hand a suited temple clothing as she might not pass away, and in that event the clothing might be subjected to the view of people not entitled to look upon it; and for this reason we concluded to say to you that the services of the wife of the president of the mission might be utilized in making the suit and clothing the body.”  (John R. Winder to Heber J. Grant, Liverpool, 15 Mar., 1906.  Bergera notes)

9 Apr.:  Not fit subjects for a recommend to Hell.

“I attended conference in April and on the 9th attended priesthood meeting. . . . President [Joseph F.] Smith again cautioned the members of the priesthood about giving recommends, as he said some people had been granted recommends who were not fit subjects to receive a recommend to Hell.”  (Thomas Briggs diary, 9 Apr., 1906; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:326, 1960)

15 May:  Requirements for temple recommend.

“When a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wishes to go to the Temple and receive his endowments it is necessary to have a recommend from the Bishop of the ward where he resides, certifying that he is a member of the Church in his ward in good standing and full fellowship and as such is recommended for the blessings of the House of the Lord.  It is also understood he must hold the Melchisedek Priesthood, having been ordained an Elder, after magnifying the Aaronic Priesthood.  The ordinances in the House of the Lord are sacred.  They are only for the Saints of God, members of His Church who are in good standing and full fellowship, righteous men and women who love the truth and keep the commandments.  These sacred endowments are for believers who manifest their faith by their works and their integrity to the everlasting Gospel.  They are not for unbelievers or for those who profess to be members of the Church of Christ but who manifest by their spirit of fault finding, lack of works and indifference to their duties that they only profess.

It is impossible for any one to be a member of the Church of Christ in good standing and full fellowship and not manifest it by his or her spirit and works.  For the spirit of Christ and the sprit of the world are so opposite that there is no mistaking the one for the other.  To be in good standing and full fellowship is to love God, our Creator, with all our heart, might, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourself, to love righteousness and hate iniquity.  It is to trust in the Lord and do good and acknowledge His hand in all things.  We must have faith, hope and charity and love our fellow-beings, be prayerful and in all things give thanks; attend to our duties, uphold and sustain the servants of God in their grave responsibilities by our faith and prayers, for they need it, and be valiant for the testimony of Jesus, which testimony all faithful Saints enjoy who have the fellowship of the Holy Ghost.  To be in good standing and full fellowship is to be honest, upright and full of love, to be natural, free fro duplicity and deceit, to be useful in our day and generation by magnifying the Aaronic and Melchisedek Priesthoods, as we have opportunity, being willing and obedient and keeping the commandments according to the covenant we made with the Lord at the waters of baptism, when we promised to serve Him and keep His commandments.

It is the only way in which we can demonstrate we love God when we keep His commandments and do His will.  The only way we can be members of the Church of Jesus Christ in good standing and full fellowship is by keeping His commandments and being in harmony with all the principles of the everlasting Gospel, and it is the only way by which we can know this Gospel is true.  To obtain this knowledge we have to do the will of the Father to know of the doctrine.  The conditions of the Gospel are simple and easy to be understood, if we want to know; or there would not be so dreadful a penalty for rejecting them, ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.’  We must love righteousness and have the law of God in our hearts.  Then we need not fear the reproach of men or be afraid of their revilings.

We could not be in good standing as an unbeliever, a fault finder, a backbiter, or a false witness that speaketh lies, or one that soweth discord among brethren, or one that robs the Lord in tithes and offerings.

We are told that ‘a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blod, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,’ are an abomination unto the Lord (Proverbs, vi. 16 to 19).  We could hardly expect to meet such persons pretending to have any standing in the Church of Christ unless they were overcome by the power of Satan and deny the truth after having received it.

It is something gretly to be desired to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ in good standing and full fellowship, and to walk in the light.  It is our only safety.  For then we are prepared to fulfill any position that the Lord may call us to fulfill in any dispensation of His providence.  Because we are the Lord’s own.  We sustain Him and His cause and are looking for His coming and the establishment of His kingdom.  It is good to be a Saint in very deed.”  (“Uncle George,” JI 41(10):313-314, 15 May, 1906)

28 Jun.:  Instructions regarding garment in temple.

“The following is to be regarded as an established and imperative rule. The garments worn by those who receive endowments must be white and of the approve[d] pattern; they must not be altered or mutilated, and are to be worn as intended, down to the wrist and ankles and around the neck. Admission to the temple will be refused to those who do not comply to these requirements.

The Saints should know that the pattern of endowment garments was revealed from Heaven and that the blessings promised in connection with wearing them will not be realized if any unauthorized change is made in their form or in the manner of wearing them. ”  (Messages of the First Presidency, Vol 5:110; President Joseph F. Smith; June 28, 1906. [These instructions were printed and hung in all the Temples. After the change in garments they were taken down and ordered burned.])

Aug.:  Counsel on garments vs. fashion.

“The Lord has given unto us garments of the holy priesthood, and you know what that means.  And yet there are those of us who mutilate them, in order that we may follow the foolish, vain and (permit me to say) indecent practices of the world.  In order that such people may imitate the fashions, they will not hesitate to mutilate that which should be held by them the most sacred of all things in the world, next to their own virtue, next to their own purity of life.  They should hold these things that God has given unto them sacred, unchanged and unaltered from the very pattern in which God gave them.  Let us have the moral courage to stand against the opinions of fashion, and especially where fashion compels us to break a covenant and so commit a grievous sin.”  (Joseph F. Smith, “Fashion and the Violation of Covenants and Duty,” IE 9:813, Aug., 1906)


At the annual conference of the Mutual Improvement Associations, I enjoyed the privilege of speaking to the young people on a subject which I think at present deserves further consideration. With this in view, good may result from repeating some of the thoughts expressed.

The Lord Almighty has revealed unto us truths, and principles. He has given us commandments, shown and taught us the order of prayer, and how to worship in spirit and in truth. He has given us signs which it is our privilege to use to indicate our determination before him, to remember him, and to witness unto him that we are willing to keep the commandments that he has given, that we may always have his spirit to be with us, even unto the end.

Not one of these commandments of God, these gifts that have been bestowed, these keys of knowledge and of principle that have been restored and revealed unto us, through the gospel of Jesus Christ and its ordinances, should be violated in the least by the Latter-day Saints. They should be held in sacred reverence. We should hold them as we hold dear to the heart the most sacred thing to our souls, because they are God’s commandments, and keys, his requirements made of us, and they are the pointing of the way, by the manifestations of the Spirit of the Lord unto us, in which we should walk, in order that we may become entitled to the greatest amount of happiness in this world, and in the world to come a fulness of joy. And by neglecting, slighting, and putting them aside, by turning away from the course which the Lord has marked out for us to pursue, we weaken ourselves, shear ourselves of our own strength, and deprive ourselves of the light needed to make us more efficient in the discharge of our duties as the children of God.

We entered into covenants with the Lord that we will keep ourselves pure and unspotted from the world. We have agreed before God, angels and witnesses in sacred places, that we will not commit adultery, will not lie, that we will not steal or bear false witness against our neighbor, or take advantage of the weak, that we will help and sustain our fellow men in the right, and take such a course as will prove most effectual in helping the weak to overcome their weaknesses and bring themselves into subjection to the requirements of heaven. We cannot neglect, slight, or depart from the spirit, meaning, intent and purpose, of these covenants and agreements, that we have entered into with our Father in heaven, without shearing ourselves of our glory, strength, right and title to his blessings, and to the gifts and manifestations of his Spirit.

The Lord has given unto us garments of the holy priesthood, and you know what that means. And yet there are those of us who mutilate them, in order that we may follow the foolish, vain and (permit me to say) indecent practices of the world. In order that such people may imitate the fashions, they will not hesitate to mutilate that which should be held by them the most sacred of all things in the world, next to their own virtue, next to their own purity of life. They should hold these things that God has given unto them sacred, unchanged and unaltered from the very pattern in which God gave them. Let us have the moral courage to stand against the opinions of fashion, and especially where fashion compels us to break a covenant and so commit a grevious sin.

Many of our young people, also, are leading mistaken lives and doing wrong in that they feel, in order to cope with the spirit of the times, the fashion of the age, and to be “in the swim,” if you will permit the expression, that they must not marry until they are able to furnish themselves commodious mansions or palaces, or homes equal to those of the rich; homes equal, perhaps, to those of their parents who have labored through years and years, who have borne the burden, in the heat of the day, who have toiled and struggled with poverty, and who, through their toil, perserverance and economy, have been able to secure and gather to themselves a little means by which they have built acceptable homes, to make their families comfortable; and the children feel that it is not right for them to engage in matrimony until they are able to build a house equal to their father’s, or a mansion equal to their rich neighbor’s.

To feel so is a mistake, it is an illusion, and it will lead men into the wrong way. I want to say to the young men’s and to the young ladies’ Mutual Impovement Associations that in the beginning God created man in his own image, and in his own likeness, male and female, and they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth, that they might have joy in their posterity. They were commanded to subdue the earth and control it, and not to be controlled by it. These commandments of the Lord have never been annulled. They are in force today as they were when they were first uttered in the garden of Eden to our first parents; and, in order to fulfill these laws, and these great commandments of the Lord, we should never wait for wealth. The young man should be willing to take his bride, and take her who is worthy, to wife, even if it be in poverty. Let them join their efforts to build a home for themselves; and if they can endure poverty, they will be able to endure riches. But if they are not able to endure poverty, woe be unto them, for he that is not able to endure poverty, in the kingdom of God, or in the house of the Lord, will scarcely be able to endure riches, for it is absolutely easier for men to worship the Lord, and to feel after him and remember him in adversity, than it is in prosperity. Men are so shallow- minded, so thoughtless, so unmindful of their dependence upon the Lord that, with a little temporary prosperity, and by the possession of perishable riches, they begin to feel that they are independent of the Lord for all his mercies; and, therefore, they forget him, and disregard, or are apt to disregard, the hands that made them prosperous. But the Lord requires us to remember him in prosperity the same as in adversity. “And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity; and it must needs be that the riches of the earth are mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:39; see also Sec. 11:7.)

Now I want to say to my young friends that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in honorable marriages. We believe that it is “honorable in all” to marry, who possess ordinary intelligence and ordinary ability to obtain the necessaries of life; and to wait for luxury, before they consummate this object and purpose of their being, in the world, is wrong; it is a mistake. It is the violation of a sacred duty, for the sake of the folly of fashion, and is displeasing to the Lord.


(“Fashion and the Violation of Covenants and Duty”; President Joseph F. Smith; Improvement Era, IX (August, 1906), 812-815. [This article was published while Pres. Joseph F. Smith was President of the Church.])

9 Apr.:  Care in giving recommends.

“[General Conference, Priesthood Session, Joseph F. Smith speaking] [Stake] Prests. & Bishops should be absolutely certain that men & women are worthy before being recommended to Temples.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 9 Apr., 1906)

15 Oct.:  To be given exactly alike in all the temples.

“Pres. Cannon said that President Joseph F. Smith requested him to say to us, that he was well pleased with the labor performed here . . . He remarked, it was designed to have all stick to the text and all unwritten parts to be given exactly alike in all the temples.  He wished there would be no corrections made in the wording by any one, except by those accompanying them in the ceremonies as Eloheim may prompt Jehovah and vice versa, then only in very important errors and in a manner not to give offence or that exception may be taken.”  (St. George Temple Minute Book, K9369, 15 Oct., 1906)

17 Oct.:  Restoration of blessings for deceased member.

“You have our permission to do the necessary temple work in behalf of your deceased brother who died an excommunicated member of the Church after receiving his endowment and having his wife sealed to him who is also dead.  

It will be an order for you, being the heir, to be baptized in behalf of your brother, to be ordained to the priesthood he formerly held, and to have his former blessings reconferred upon you in his behalf.  And this will authorize the president of the temple to permit this to be done.”  (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund to Thomas D. Dee, Ogden.  “These instructions were complied with 17 Oct., 1906”.  Bergera notes.)

15 Nov.:  Age and worthiness requirements for 2nd anointing.

“Went to the Council in Temple.  It was decided that one who has committed adultery shall not have the higher blessings and the age of 50 was considered the proper age before receiving them.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 15 Nov., 1906)

21 Nov.:  Restitution of blessings following adultery.

“November 21st, 1906

Prest. C. N. Lund and Counselors,

North Sanpete Stake.

Dear Brethren:–

We herewith submit answers to the questions contained in yours of the 14th inst.

Question, Where we grant a brother and sister the privilege of second blessings, and they desire the same blessings in behalf of their deceased parents who were true and faithful members of the Church while they lived, shall we grant their request?

Answer’ Yes, provided they can be properly recommended.

Question, Where the husband is dead and his widow living, is it alright for her to receive these blessings and have someone who has received them to stand for him, provided of course he was a worthy man?

Answer: Yes.

Question: A brother who was recommended for this purpose a year or two ago asked permission to receive this ordinance in behalf of his son, a worthy young man who had died. Would you approve of this request being granted?

Answer, Not at present.

Question: If the good record of a man is broken by his falling into transgression, say adultery or fornication, and he repents and makes restitution as far as he can do so, and has received forgiveness, can he afterwards, by living a faithful and good life, be entitled to receive these higher ordinances?

Answer: Every such case should stand on its own merits. In some instances it may be highly proper to recommend for second anointings, in others improper. For instance, a man who commits adultery after receiving his endowments should not be recommended to receive second blessings. Let the cases of all such men be considered and determined by the authority on the other side of the veil. But where a man commits adultery before joining the Church or even after baptism but before receiving his endowments his condition is different, and yourself and counselors must be the judges as to his worthiness to receive these blessings.

Question: We have not recommended anyone, only in exceptional cases, who have not reached the age of 50. Is that age limit alright?

Answer: If a man 50 years of age has been faithful he may be recommended for higher blessings.

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency.”

(Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund to President C. N. Lund and Counselors, North Sanpete Stake.  21 Nov., 1906.  Bergera collection.)

13 Dec.:  Temple work for suicide victims?

“In one such meeting [of the First Presidency and Twelve] Elder Richards asked if vicarious temple work could be performed for a person who had committed suicide.  Many Latter-day Saints believed suicide to be self-murder, thus rendering such an individual ineligible for eternal salvation.  In answering the question, President Joseph F. Smith replied that suicides could not be officiated for except where good evidence existed that the individual was mentally deranged.  He declared that each case would have to be decided upon its own merits.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 80; also George F. Richards diary, 13 Dec., 1906)

Dec.:  Joseph’s garments.

“Maria J. Woodward—

Maria J. Woodward came to Nauvoo from Middle, Tennessee when she was 17 in 1841. She was the only member of the Church in her father’s family. While she worked in the home of the Prophet for 3 weeks she acquired the following testimony:

‘[Joseph] was always kind and often talked with me and asked about my [family] . . . I . . . can bear testimony that [Joseph] had had his endowments and wore garments, for the woman who washed for the family showed them to me.'”

(“Joseph Smith the Prophet. . . Marian J. Woodward [Testimony]”; The Young Woman’s Journal 17:543-44 {December 1906}.)

ca; 1906?:  Zina Card temple instructions.

“Dear Sisters, we have met this morning in this the House of the Lord to receive at the hands of the Heavenly Priesthood, the greatest blessings the Lord ever gave to his children on earth. And I want you to know this, that our Father in Heaven loves his daughters the same as his sons. There is not a blessing bestowed upon them that we do not receive except that of the Holy Priesthood, and if we honor these blessings, they will be the source of much happiness to us.

I can imagine that in the hearts of you girls there are many doubts and fears, but the fears are needless and doubts will vanish if you come with the right spirit. I take it for granted that every one of you is thoroughly converted to the fact that Jesus is the Christ and that he is here to guide us. You have come here to receive your endowments, a most wonderful blessing and you have also come here to receive a companion for this life and all life to come, and when you go on the other side, where we all will go some day, you will meet your companion and you will belong to each other. People who never come to the house of the Lord and have this great blessing bestowed upon them, will not be as husband and wife on the other side. They will no doubt love each other, but cannot participate in the blessings you will have placed upon you through the eternal covenant of marriage.

Now, my dear sisters, in receiving your blessings you will go into a room, having removed your clothing and having placed a shield around you to protect your body, and there you will receive the greatest blessings that any woman on this earth ever had that we have any account of. Then you will be clothed in a garment by the sister who has authority. This garment that you receive is given symbolically as was the garment given to Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. On it will be placed sacred marks. These are the marks of the Holy Priesthood. Some look upon it as a very trifling thing and say “What difference does it make just to cut a hole in a piece of cloth?” Girls, you might say the same thing when you go to meeting and take the sacrament. There is this difference, we are carrying out the commands of God through our symbols of the things our Father in Heaven bestowed on his children that entitles them to the blessings they could not have if it were not for that garment on the body and the marks placed upon it.

When Joseph Smith received the endowments and revelation from the Lord to be given to his people by authority, he also received instructions as to how to make this garment. None had ever seen anything like it and the sisters who made it were under his direction and when it was submitted to him, he said that it was right and the way it had looked to him and he accepted it. This garment had a collar and it had strings to tie it and sleeves that came to the wrist, not to the hand, but about an inch above, and the leg came down to the ankle joint. This was the pattern given and it is right for Aunt Eliza Snow was the governess and seamstrees in his house at the time the first garments were made and heard the instructions to the sisters. Thus the Kingdom of God rolls on and the living authority [sic] are the one who can make changes in the revealed work of the Lord to answer the purposes of the day in which they live. Today there is a change in the garments that can be made outside of this Holy House in the garments we wear on our bodies. This garment is called the modified or permitted garment and the pattern of this garment I will point out to you, but first I want to explain to you about the little mark we have in the back of our garment, the little woven design which we have looked upon as desig[n]ating the things we buy as being the right kind of a garment. Now, sisters, I want to tell you the way we came by this mark of approval. In days past there was a great variety in the way they made the garments as then they were always made from cloth. President Taylor prayed to the Lord that they might be permitted to use the knitted garment and they could all be of the same pattern. They might vary a little, but the garments were all similar and when they made these garments, many people questioned the change from the cloth garment to the knitted garment. It was because the living authority said we might and it was this mark that was used to tell us that the garment was approved. Today, these marks of approval can be purchasd by the thousands and are placed upon anything their customers will buy and for that reason, today this mark means nothing to us.

You know what is the right kind of a garment. The garment to be worn outside of the House of the Lord has been approved by authority and I have a written statement signed by President Grant to this effect. The garment is not too low in the neck, just a nice, modest neck, but with collar omitted. Instead of being to the wrist, they come to the elbow, and the leg instead of coming to the ankle, comes below the knee, always covering the knee so that the mark placed by the holy Priesthood can come over the knee, for that is where is [sic] should be worn. This pattern can be worn and you are not doing anything contrary to the Priesthood, but it must be worn only outside this house and can not be worn in the House of the Lord.

Some people who do not understand this very well will tell you that anything that has the marks placed upon it is a garment of the Holy Priesthood. (And some make these marks about like a button hole, but they should be about one inch each way.) But this is false, for you are desicrating our covenants and deceiving yourself by putting on anything of this kind. There are two kinds of garments and two only; the one given by the Prophet Joseph Smith to be worn in the Temple and the one given by the President Grant to be worn outside the House of the Lord. Wear this modified garment and be happy if it adds to your happiness to wear it this way. When you wear anything besides these two approved patterns you are wearing only a piece of underwear which is not a garment and you are placing upon your body something with the marks of the Holy Priesthood where these marks should not be placed for it is not approved of nor accepted by the authority of God. These are vital questions and thousands of people are being deceived and are wearing something that exposes their bodies and desicrates the marks of the Holy Priesthood.

Now, Dear Sisters, are there any questions.

Garments should be worn all the time. When you understand the covenants, you will understand that you cannot take them off at night.

Missionaries – Embassadors of truth and if one girl does not act as a lady or does not do the right thing, the whole Church is judged by her actions. Everyone living their religion properly prays daily for the missionaries and this should be the source of a great deal of help and encouragement when things seem hard and discouraging.

If you were at meeting and the sacrament were passed to you, you would know that it was an emblem of Christ and would not look upon it as bread and water or say that you do not like bread but want cake. The same authority gave us the garment that gave us this wonderful blessing upon the Holy Sacrament.

(TEMPLE INSTRUCTIONS:  “Garments,” Zina Y. Card; Bergera Collection)