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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1907

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1907.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1907.

1907:  14 Mar.:  No 2nd for woman who didn’t live with man.

“Please present our complements to Brother McAllister and say to him that it is not customary for woman to be anointed to men, to whom they may have been sealed after death, but with whom they had not lived in their lifetime as husband and wife in the marriage relation.  Both of you will at once perceive the consistency and wisdom of this when you call to mind the fact that the second anointing consists of positive blessings bestowed only upon people who are known, and who can be recommended, for their long and steadfast faithfulness in the Church.  And indeed, so particular have the Presidencies been at administering second anointings, that they drew the line between faithful members of the Church who died without gathering with the Church, and faithful members who gathered with the body of the Church and remained faithful afterwards, leaving the faithful people who have died in a scattered condition to be dealt with by the authority on the other side of the veil.  But the main thought intended to be conveyed by us in this particular case is that the parties receiving the blessings must not only be known for their fidelity and faithfulness, but they must be, or have been, husband and wife as well, or one flesh, to use the scriptural expression.”  (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund to President Lewis Anderson, Manti.  14 Mar., 1907.  Bergera collection.)

26 Mar.:  Nothing treasonable or disloyal in temple.

“In answer to the charge of disloyalty, founded upon alleged secret obligations against our government, we declare to all men that there is nothing treasonable or disloyal in any ordinance, ceremony, or ritual of the Church.”  (First Presidency, “An Address.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the World,” 26 Mar., 1907.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 4:152) 

13 Apr.:  Liberal policy of 2nd anointings for dead.

” April 13, 1907

Prest. Oleen Stohl,

Brigham City,

Dear Brother,–

This is in answer to yours of the 11th inst.

Inasmuch as you can recommend Bro. Robert Henderson and wife, deceased, to receive their second blessings, it will be in order for you to do this. And in fact, this instruction applies to any other faithful members of the Church of your Stake whom you can recommend as worthy to receive these blessings but who passed away without them.

In the case of Bro. and Sister Henderson, Sisters Peters can officiate for Sister Henderson (her mother), and she and the family can agree among themselves as to who shall stand proxy for Bro. Henderson.

With kind regards, your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthan H. Lund

First Presidency.”

(Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund to President Oleen Stohl, Brigham City.  13 Apr., 1907.  Bergera collection.)

4 Oct.:  Temple work won’t correct evils during this life.

“We have a few people amongst us who are so wrapped up in and so devoted to some of their kindred who have been guilty of every species of abomination and wickedness in the world, that, the moment they are dead they will come and ask for permission to go into the house of God to perform the ordinances of the Gospel for their redemption.  I do not blame them for their affection for their dead, nor do I blame them for the desire in their heart to do something for their salvation, but I do not addmire their wisdom, nor can I agree with their conception of right and justice.  You cannot take a murderer, a suicide, an adulterer, a liar, or one who was or is thoroughly abominable in his life here, and simply by the performance of an ordinance of the Gospel, cleanse him from sin and usher him into the presence of God.  God has not instituted a plan of that kind, and it cannot be done.  He has said you shall repent of your sins.  The wicked will have to repent of their wickedness.  Those who die without the knowledge of the Gospel will have to come to the knowledge of it, and those who sin against light will have to pay the uttermost farthing for their transgression and their departure from the Gospel, before they can ever get back to it.  Do not forget that.  Do not forget it, you Elders in Israel, nor you, mothers in Israel, either, and, when you seek to save either the living or the dead, bear in mind that you can only do it on the principle of their repentance, and acceptation of the plan of life.  That is the only way in which you can succeed.”  (Joseph F. Smith, 4 Oct., 1907; CR Oct., 1907, pp. 6-7)

“President Smith made a remark in relation to those who seek permission to do work for the dead who were unworthy.  Such cases have arisen, and I have marveled that brethren and sisters do not exhibit better jugdment–if I may be allowed to use that expression–than to seek the privileges of the house of the Lord for those who are not worthy.  I have no doubt they feel anxious and desirous to do all they can for the salvation of their relatives; but they should exercise wisdom in regard to these matters.”  (John R. Winder, 4 Oct., 1907; CR Oct., 1907, p. 7)

16 Dec.:  On joining secret societies.

“President Woodruff, not long before his death, instructed the presiding priesthood in conference assembled that members of the Church allying themselves with secret societies after having been informed of the counsel of the Church against its members making such alliances, disqualified themselves from entering the temples of the Lord to receive blessings therein, and that therefore all such should not be recommended for temple ordinances.

In taking this position President Woodruff voiced the mind of the First Presidency from the beginning of the organization of the Church, whose counsel has always been against its members joining secret societies; and where our brethren have allied themselves with such organizations without knowing it to be against the counsel of the Church, the advice of the First Presidency, under such circumstances, has been to withdraw fellowship and membership from such organizations just as soon as it could be done consistently and honorably.

We desire you, and all others concerned or interested in this question, to know that, in taking this position, the First Presidency have not for a moment considered the merits or demerits of the various secret orders, that it is entirely immaterial to us as to whether their ceremonials are based on biblical stories or otherwise, and that therefore as far as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned they must stand or fall solely on their own merits without a word of criticism for or against them by us.”  (First Presidency Letter, 16 Dec., 1907.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 4:167-168)