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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1908

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1908.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1908.

1908:  14 Jan.:  No special recommend for 2nd anointings.

“Please find enclosed recommends for second blessings endorsed by President Smith.  

The First Presidency direct me to call your attention to the printed form used by you in this instance recommending for a second blessings, and would thank you to let them know if this particular form was prepared by yourself, or purchased by you of the printer already prepared?  Their reason for illiciting this information is this:  the form is unauthorized, and not in accordance with their mind in recommending for the second anointing.  In other words the word ‘second’ should not be in the recommend at all, and you are therefore requested to discard this particular form, and in fact to destroy it.

Instructions have been given so many times in regard to this matter, that it has been taken grandid that every Stake President is fuklly informed in relation to it.  The way to do is to use the common form of temple recommend, and write a letter in connection with it explaining who the people are thus recommended, and given, as near as you can, their ages and a brief account of their lives so that the presidency may by this means gather some idea of their suitableness and worthiness to receive the endorsement of the President.  And it is taken for grandid that you take pains to become personally acquainted with everybody recommended by you for second blessings, and you are of course at liberty to adopt every necessary means to acquire the information; and strict privacy should be enjoined by you and all so recommended by you.  

Yours, &c.

Geo. F. Gibbs, Secretary.”

(George F. Gibbs to President Alma Merrill, Richmond.  14 Jan., 1908.  Bergera notes)

29 Mar.:  Temple workers not to give counsel.

“[Sunday]  I attended meeting in Temple.  It being fastday.  Prest. Winder said that no person working in a temple should take upon himself or herself to give counsel to any one.  Mentioned one case where a woman by giving a wrong interpretation of the duties devolving upon a person who has taken the covenants of the endowments had split up a family.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 29 Mar., 1908)

22 May:  Non-members & ungathered ineligible for 2nd.

“President William Budge

Logan Temple

Dear Brother:–

We have just returned to President Stohl two temple recommends, given by him for second blessings in behalf of two women, one of whom was not a member of the Church, the other was but she died also in a foreign land without having gathered with the body of the Church.  A brother, living in Box Elder Stake, who had recently been doing work in the Logan Temple in behalf of the women referred to, was told, while there that it was in order now for him to have those women anointed to him, and he therefore procured recommends from his Stake President to have this work done for them.

We have just informed President Stole that a rule of the temple forbids deceased women who were not members of the Church prior to their demise, or who did not gather with the body of the Church, being anointed to men, therefore, we could not endorse the recommends of the sisters referred to.

We write this for your information; also to say that it is not becoming in brethren to suggest that second blessings be given to anybody, living or dead, unless they are delegated by the President of the Church to act in this capacity, and it would be well therefore for you to so inform your Temple workers.”  (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund to President William Budge, Logan Temple.  22 May, 1908.  Bergera collection.)

“President Oleen N. Stohl

Brigham City

Dear Brother:–

This is an answer to yours of the 21st inst.

People who are not members of the Church during their lifetime are not eligible to receive second blessings.  They should not only have been members of the Church, but their faithfulness and worthiness to receive these blessings should be unquestioned, and besides the line has been drawn in favor of those who have either gathered with the body of the church or died on their way to the gathering place, all others are left to be dealt with by the authority on the other side of the veil.  The recommends in favor of Mary Morgan and Mary Ann Love are therefore herewith returned unendorsed.”  (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund to President Oleen N. Stohl, Brigham City.  22 May, 1908.  Bergera collection.)

20 Aug.:  90% would accept the work done for them.  

“Your favor of the 17th inst. containing your check for $80.00 for the continuation of the good work–the redemption of the dead–is received.

What a pleasure is ours to know that through our good works, people who are powerless in and of themselves, are being redeemed from an awful condition, and placed in a position ‘to live acording to God in the spirit but to be judged as men and women in the flesh.’

President Woodruff said in this Temple, ‘That the Lord had made known to him that 90% of the ones worked for in this temple would accept the work done for them.'”  (David H. Cannon, President St. George Temple to Patriarch C. J. Arthur, Cedar City.  20 Aug., 1908.  Bergera notes) 

15 Sep.:  Vision of the dead for whom work was done.

“In November, 1908, myself and wife went to the Salt Lake Temple to work for the dead of my family.  We officiated for twenty males and twenty two females.  Afterward, I thought, how satisfying it would be to know that the work was acceptable to my people.  I said nothing of this desire, however, not even to my wife.  About three months after the work was done, as I lay on my bed at night, my attention was attracted to a group of females, walking on the opposite side of the street from our home.  The walls of the house offered no impediment to my vision.  I counted twenty two persons, I saw so plainly that every feature of their persons and their clothing was indelibly fixed on my mind.  I saw their uncovered heads with neatly arranged hair.  Even the weave of the raiment worn I distinctly observed.  Their dress was of white, gathered at the neck, reaching the feet, with a girdle about the waist made of the same material.  They appeared very happy.  One of the group turned towards me, and smiled.  I recognised her as one who had died seventeen yeras before, and for whom my wife had done work.  The vision lasted during the time occupied by them in walking calmly the distance of half a block.  When suddenly it ended I at once work my wife, and informed her of what I had seen.  Her first words were, ‘They are the ones for whom I worked in the Temple.'”  (Charles Kingston, President, Bingham Stake High Priests’ Quorum, JI 42(18):551, 15 Sep., 1907)

23 Sep.:  Regaining right to wear temple garment.

“Church leaders rendered another decision regarding the temple several years later.  A stake president had asked how a member of the Church could regain the right to wear the temple under garment once he had stopped wearing it.  The Church authorities replied that the individual must obtain permission from the Presidency of the Church upon recommendation of the stake president.  They added that the temple endowment is never administered a second time, even in cases of excommunication.  Such blessings, including the right to wear the garment, are reconferred through the laying on of hands by one of the apostles.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 81; also George F. Richards diary, 23 Sep., 1908) 

19 Dec.:  Status report on genealogical work.

“Many of the saints have taken advantage of the opportunities afforded them by the Church in providing a genealogical society wher assistance can be given them in this important work.  Records are being gathered and information of a genealogical nature is being accumulated for the use of the saints.  The Spirit which moves the saints to work for the redemption of the dead is the planting in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers.  This same spirit seems to be moving upon the hearts of honorable men of the earth who are spending their time and means in collecting and compiling genealogical records.  In Great Britain, and portions of the United States, societies have been organized for the gathering and preservation of genealogies.  Vital records and parish registers that have been inaccessible are now being sought for and published in great numbers.  It is desirable to obtain as many of these as possible and have them filed away.  The saints should take advantage of every opportunity to obtain the records as far as possible of their ancestors, that their redemption through the ordinances of the House of God might be obtained.”  (First Presidency Christmas Message, 19 Dec., 1908.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 4:193-194)