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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1912

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1912.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1912.

1912:  10 Jan.:  Shoes in temple. 

“President [David H.] Cannon spoke concerning shoes worn while receiving endowments.  He said, put your moccasins on over your shoes.  This is the word from the Authorities.  A sample of this was given by President Young; he wore his moccasins over his shoes when receiving endowments for deceased and we should follow his example.”  (St. George Temple Minute Book, K9369R, p. 99, 10 Jan., 1912)

10 Jan.:  Baptist must stand in water.

“Baptisms cannot be administered by persons standing out of the water.  Innovations must not creep in, in any manner of thing.  Speaker [David H. Cannon] said, ‘it is my business to see that right is maintained here not matter what is done elsewhere.  If what is done is done right, they, the dead and we can pass to our exaltations, otherwise not.'”  (St. George Temple Minute Book, K9369R, p. 99, 10 Jan., 1912)

19 Jan.:  Mode of baptism for the dead.

“President [David H.] Cannon remarked that yesterday in the prayer circle held by the brethren a question arose as to the requirements made by the Doctrine and Covenants of the Recorder at the baptismal font.  I hold the right in this temple to decide that matter and President Joseph F. Smith has the right to reverse my conclusions on this or any other point whatever.

He read of Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 127, sixth verse and from 128 Section regarding the duties of the Recorder at the baptismal font and said, The Lord has never given a revelation to his people that the terms thereof could not be carried out in the spirit thereof.  The witnesses to the baptisms in this temple faced the east end of the font.  The candidate for that ordinance is brought by the baptisor with his face toward the witnesses and is placed under the water eastward–the baptisor standing between the applicant and the Recorder makes it impossible for the Recorder to see that the applicant is completely immersed.  The Recorder however should distinctly call the calls in the hearing of the Administrator and see the person or proxie answering thereto.  See that the person baptising repeats the name without variation.  The witnesses should be satisfied that the person is totally immersed; then in confirmation the name given should be distinctly heard by the Recorder and he records the baptism and confirmation of the said person–the name of the person administering in each ordinance–the names of witnesses and his own name as Recorder are attached.  This President Cannon said is the plain duty of the Recorder and constitutes the eye and ear witness of Recorder at the Baptismal Font.”  (St. George Temple Minute Book, K9369R, p. 102, 19 Jan., 1912)

Jan.:  Women to preach to women in spirit world.

“Among all these millions of spirits tht have lived in the earth and have passed away, from generation to generation, since the beginning of the world, without the knowledge of the Gospel,–among them you may count that at least one-half are women.  Wo his going to preach the Gospel to the women?  Who is going to carry the testimony of Jesus Christ to the hearts of the women who have passed away without a knowledge of the Gospel?  Well, to my mind, it is a simple thing.  These good sisters that have been set apart, ordained to the work, called to it, authorized by the authority of the holy priesthood to minister, for their sex, in the House of God for the living and for the dead, will be fully authorized and empowered to preach the Gospel and minister to the women while the elders and prophets are preaching it to the men.  The things we experience here are typical of the things of God and the life beyond us.  There is a great similarity between God’s purposes as manifested here and His purposes as carried out in HIs presence and kingdom.  Those who are authorized to preach the Gospel here and are appointed here to do that work will not be idle after they have passed away, but will continue to exercise the rights that they obtained here under the priesthood of the Son of God to minister for the salvation of those who have died without a knowledge of the truth.  Some of you will understand when I tell you that some of these good women that have passed beyond have actually been anointed queens and priestesses unto God and unto their husbands [i.e., 2nd anointing], to continue their work and to be the mothers of spirits in the world to come.  The world does not understand this–they cannot receive it–they do not know what it means, and it is sometimes hard for those who ought to be thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the Gospel–even for some of us to comprehend, but it is true.”  (Joseph F. Smith, sermon at the funeral of Mary A. Freeze, died 21 Jan., 1912; YWJ 23(3):130-131, Mar., 1912)

22 Feb.:  Law of Retribution explained. 

“He [David H. Cannon] had been asked to explain the law of retribution:  The law of retribution is:  To pray the Father to avenge the blood of the prophets and righteous men that has been shed, etc.  In the endowment house this was given but as persons went there only once, it was not so strongly impressed upon their minds, but in the setting in order the endowments for the dead it was given as it is written in 9 Chapter of Revelations and in that language we importune our Father, not that we may, but that He, our Father, will avenge the blood of martyrs shed for the testimony of Jesus.”  (St. George Temple Minute Book, K9369R, p. 110, 22 Feb., 1912)

22 Feb.:  Probation period for new members before endowment.

“Mr. Hoover came from San Francisco and wanted permission to marry Miss Hawkley in the Temple.  He has been in the Church 4 mos.  I told him we guard the Temple so scaredly that we want to know that a man must be a good Latter-day Saint before we let him enter.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 22 Feb., 1912)

Mar.:  Heaven and Hell.

“A good student and brother has written to know where Hell is, and he asks:

Are we to understand (as written in Matthew 25:41, ‘Depart from me, ye accursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’) that such a placed as Hell really exists?

Hell is, evidently, wherever one’s mental condition would make it.  Without doubt, such a place exists, but where the place is, we are not able to say, as there is no revealed word upon the subject.  In this life, however, both Heaven and Hell are upon this earth, and wherever, by our acts, we ourselves make them.  It is not a far-fetched guess, either, to say that Heaven for the righteous will be on this earth in the hereafter.  (Read Doc. and Cov. 88:17-26.)

As to the meaning of ‘everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels,’ we have a thorough explanation in the 19th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, beginning with the 10th verse and reading to the 12th.  From this we understand that everlasting, or eternal, punishment is simply God’s punishment, because he is eternal.  The punishment will abide forever, but a man will not suffer it forever; and each individual will receive of that punishment in the hereafter as he deserves, but with it he will also receive eternal justice, and there is escape by repentance, before the resurrection and the judgment, even as there is in this world.

Furthermore, we understand Hell, as stated, to be both a place and a state or condition of torment, in which the wicked who have passed away from this life will suffer suspense, remorse, and anguish looking for the indignation of a just God before their resurrection.  This condition will continue as long as justice shall demand it, and until the sinner shall repent and turn to God and obey him; or, on the other hand, choose to obey the devil.  Their further destiny will be in conformity with their works and desires, according to the eternal principles of justice and mercy extended by an allwise God.  For, if men desire to do evil, and follow that desire, all the day long while in this life, they shall have their reward of evil when the night cometh, both in the spirit world and after the resurrection; even as those who do good, shall inherit the Kingdom of God, endless life, and eternal happiness.

If, after the resurrection, men still remain evil, having refused to repent, they will be consigned to the dominion of the devil, who has subjected them, which is Hell and damnation.  They had mercy extended to them, but would not turn from their evil ways; they were warned of their iniquities, but would not depart fdrom them; they were commanded to repent, but would not.  They chose the evil, and will, therefore, inherit the kingdom of the devil, Hell, or endless misery.  And it becomes plain, therefore, that men are their own judges, they stand or fall, are good or evil, as they desire and do good or evil in their hearts and acts–hence, we make Heaven or Hell for ourselvs, not only hereafter, but now.  The lesson we should learn is that the way of salvation is prepared which leads to Heaven, and we may walk therein, and be saved.  To do this, we are asked to repent of our sins, render loving service to God and our fellow men, and obey the gospel, whose author is Jesus Christ, the light and life of the world.  In and through him alone are men redeemed and saved.

In this connection we advise the reading of Alma, chapters 40 and 41, and Mosiah, chapter 16, where the doctrines of the Latter-day Saints on this subject and on the resurrection, the restoration, and the judgment, are set forth in great practical plainness, applying not only to the future, but to our lives here and now.”  (“Editor’s Table,” [Joseph F. Smith and Edward H. Anderson, editors] IE 15(5):465-467, Mar., 1912)

Apr.:  Heirship in temple work.

“As a rule, the eldest living male representative of a family is the recognized heir, if he is a member of the Church; and all temple work, in the lines properly represented by him, should appear in the record as being done at his instance, that is, under his direction, or with his approval.  His rights, in this regard, should be sacredly respected, and no other members of the family should assume to do temple work for any individuals, in the family line, without his knowledge or permission.

A careful observance of this rule has several advantages: first, it involves the record of temple work being kept under the direct supervision of the responsible head of the family organization, with the important purpose in view of properly systematizing that work, so that it may be done correctly and completely, eliminating the probabilities of neglect or repetition; second, the temple records, by this desirable arrangement, shows that the work on specified family lines has been done at the instance of one who is the recognized heir, thus establishing a medium by which information may easily be ascertained concerning what has been done on those lines.  If the work was done indiscriminately, or at the instigation of a number of persons, each assuming to work on the same family lines, without consultation with each other, confusion would be the inevitable result, repetition would be unavoidable, and it would be almost impossible to obtain desired information from the temple records.

As stated, the rule is that the eldest male representative of a family is the recognized heir.  A specific reason for this is that family names are perpetuated by the males.  In temple work, the relatives of a wife should be recorded separately from those of her husband, and the work should be done at the instance of the eldest male representative of her family line, or, if there is no such representative, it should be at the instance of her eldest son, always assuming that they are members of the Church.

We are asked, sometimes, ‘What should be done in cases where the proper representative of the family line neglects to supervise, or take an active part in the temple work, or, delays doing it, or withholds his consent for others who are interested to engage in it, or who forbids other members of the family performing the essential temple work?’  The simple answer to such questions is that, while the rights of the heir should be respected, he has no right to prevent the performance of temple work for dead kindred.  That work is a sacred obligation, and it must be done.  Every effort should be made, in kindness, to get him to perform his duty in this regard, or to allow his name to be used as the one at whose instance the work is done.  If such effort is unavailing, the next eldest male (or female, if there is no male) may then assume the prerogative and duties of the eldest, in this connection.  In the event that there is no male representative of a family, in the Church, it becomes the duty of the eldest female representative to have temple work done for her dead kindred; and her name should be entered in the record as the individual at whose instance such work is done.”  (Duncan M. McAllister, Chief Recorder of the Salt Lake Temple, UGHM 3:80-81, Apr., 1912)

Apr.:  Limitations in temple work.

“Those who engage in the performance of temple ordinances in behalf of the dead, should, as a general rule, limit such work to individuals of their own blood kindred, or to personal friends whom they know were worthy of that blessing, if those friends have no known relatives who are members of the Church.  If, for any good reason, it is desired to do temple work for other than those thus designated, application should be made to the president of the temple for special permission in such cases, submitting the reasons why it is desired.

Limiting the performance of temple ordinances, in behalf of those only who are the kindred of the individuals engaging in that sacred work, is intended to prevent the endless confusion and repetition, that would result if there was no such limitation; also, that the rights of others, in this regard, may be duly respected.

There is seldom any need to go beyond immediate family lines to find all the work of this character, that any one can spare the time or means to perform.  If it should happen that you are so blessed as to be able to complete the temple ordinances in behalf of all your dead kindred, there is ample opportunity for you to aid others who are not so fortunate in regard to the performance of this important work.

To assist in making it clearly understood just what family lines should be included within the limits of kinship, as contemplated in this connection, it is considered advisable to specify the following: Those bearing the same surname as yourself, whiich is the same, of course, as the surname of your father and his father; also, those bearing the family surname of your paternal grandmother; and those bearing the family surnames of your mother’s father and mother.  This limitation can be readily comprehended–it embraceds just four direct lines of family surnames.  For example, a man whose surname is Brown may have a paternal grandmother surnamed Jones, his maternal grandfather Smith, and maternal grandmother Robinson.  Thus it is apparent that he will have the right to perform temple work in behalf of all his dead kindred bearing the surnames of Brown, Jones, Smith, and Robinson; and such is the nature of the limitations referred to.

In addition to having temple ordinances performed for those who are known blood kindred, in the four lines of names indicated, it is permissable to have such work done also, to a limited extent, in behalf of individuals who are your relatives by marriage.  For instance, a man who is married to your aunt is, therefore, your uncle-in-law, and you may perform temple ordinances in his behalf, if he was worthy, and in behalf of their children, but you should not extend such privileges to others in his faimly line, as that might result in your intruding upon the right of his relatives in the Church.  Similarly, if a woman marries a cousin of yours she thereby becomes your cousin-in-law, and it would be proper for you to do temple work in her behalf, associated with your cousin and their children, but it would not be right to incorporate her ancestral line in your record.

It is a common experience that family lines can not be traced far back, in very many cases no further than the grandparents.  When it is found impossible to trace the ancestral lines as far back as desirable, and the list of names for temple work is consequently meagre, it is recommended that genealogies of all who bear the surnames of your four direct lines be obtained from the records that may be found in the parishes, or counties, where your immediate relatives were located.  It is considered reasonable to assume that all bearing those surnames, residing in those localities, were your relatives; and, even though you may be unable to ascertain the exact relationship, it is permissable to perform temple ordinances in their behalf.  Many thousands of names are frequently obtained in this way, and a very great amount of temple work is, therefore, accomplished that could not be done otherwise.

Following is the prevailing mode of designating relationship:

. . . .

In temple work, you must always state your relationship to each one of the dead individuals, not their relationship to you; for instance, you must designate yourself as nephew (or niece) to your uncle or aunt, grand nephew (or grand niece) to your grand uncle or grand aunt, etc.

A clear distinction should be made between blood kindred and those to whom they are married, the latter are known as relatives in law; thus, a man is nephew-in-law to his uncle’s wife, cousin-in-law to his cousin’s wife, etc.  If the dead are known to be blood relations, but the degree of relationship cannot be stated, the word Relative is to be given.  When there is no family connection the word Friend should be used.”  (Duncan M. McAllister, Chief Recorder of the Salt Lake Temple, UGHM 3:81-83, Apr., 1912)

4 Jun.:  Relief Society to take charge of temple clothing.

“We desire to inform you that the General Board of Relief Society has been instructed by us to take charge of the business of supplying temple clothing to all members of the Church coming to the temple from time to time in need of it, also for burial purposes; and that the Society has appointed a responsible committee to attend to this business who is now prepared to furnish suits or parts of suits at its headquarters in the Bishop’s Building, 49 North Main Street, this city.

The committee referred to will take this matter up with the Stake President of the Relief Societies of your Stake, and impart to her all the information necessary in regard to this matter.

And we would thank you also to inform your Bishops of it, and at the same time request them to instruct all those coming to the temple from their respective wards to supply themselves with temple clothing before leaving home if they can do so conveniently, otherwise to call at the office of the Relief Society in the Bishop’s Building where it may be purchased or rented.

On account of the sacredness of the character of our temple clothing we have felt for some time past that a safeguard ought to be thrown around it with a view to preventing it from being loosely handled or unnecessarily exposed, and it has occurred to us that the duty of handling the clothing may very properly be imposed upon and intrusted to our Relief Society, under supervision of the proper authority.”  (First Presidency to Prest. Nephi L. Morris, SLC, 4 Jun., 1912.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 4:274-275)  

19 Sep.:  Genealogical records miraculously provided.

“Met in the Temple.  Henry McCune related Bro. George Farnsworth’s vision as he passed Ephraim cemetery and how he found the words fulfilled when he came to the Temple.  He saw a great multitude and one who acted as spokesman asked him why he did not do work for them.  He said: ‘How can I do work for you when I know not your name?’  The spokesman said ‘You will find them at the Temple.’  When he arrived at the Temple the Recorder said: ‘I have just received a book containing your ancestry.!'”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 19 Sep., 1912)

22 Sep.:  “Genealogical Sunday.”

“Sunday, September 22, 1912, has been designated as ‘Genealogical Sunday,’ by the Board of Directors of the Genealogical Society, with the approval of the First Presidency of the Church, to be observed in all the wards and branches of the Church.  It will have been eighty-five years ago on that date since the Angel Moroni brought to the Prophet Joseph Smith the promise that Elijah the Prophet would come and turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, and thus begin the great work of salvation for the dead.  It is, therefore, appropriate that this day be observed throughout the Church to encourage and to instruct the Saints regarding their duties on this part of their Church work.”  (UGHM 3:144, Jul., 1912)

22 Sep.:  The records will be made available to us.

“Let us think over these things, and pray to the Lord to open the way, and the way will be opened by which we will learn about our ancestors.  And when the time comes that we have done all we can in a natural way, the veil will be drawn aside, and the Priesthood behind the veil will minister to the Priesthood in the flesh, and reveal many things that we could not ordinarily obtain knowledge of here; but we will get them by this kind of revelation.”  (Charles W. Penrose, Vice-President of the Genealogical Society of Utah; An address delivered in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, ‘Genealogical Sunday,’ 22 Sep., 1912; UGHM 4:18, Jan., 1913)

Oct.:  “Peculiar Questions Briefly Answered.”

“Question 4:  Is plural or celestial marriage essential to a fulness of glory in the world to come?

Answer:  Celestial marriage is essential to a fulness of glory in the world to come, as explained in the revelation concerning it; but it is not stated that plural marriage is thus essential.

Question 5:  Do you believe that a man who has been polygamously married or married under the law of celestial marriage in your temples, can commit any sin whatever, excepting the shedding of innocent blood, and yet have part and come forth in the first resurrection?

Answer:  We believe just what is stated in that revelation concerning persons who have been sealed up unto eternal life but who commit sin that is not declared unpardonable, and in their redemption after they have paid ‘the uttermost farthing’ of the penalty imposed by eternal justice, and have been ‘delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption.’  (See par. 26, also Matt. 12:31; Mark 3:29; I Cor. 5:5.)

. . . .

Question 8:  Will not a righteous husband and wife, who have fulfilled every other ordinance, be together throughout eternity, although they have not been sealed in a temple?

Answer:  Every righteous husband and wife whom ‘God hath joined together’ by his holy ordinance and authority will be one in eternity if they never saw ‘a temple.’  But the ceremonies of men that God has not appointed have an end when men are dead.  (Sec. 132:13-18).  However, there are means provided for sealing ordinances in behalf of the worthy dead so that none will lose that which they merit.

. . . .

Question 12:  Baptism for the dead–How do we know which of our deceased relatives are to be baptized for, and how do we know when we are to be baptized for them?

Answer:  If instead of ‘we’ the questioner had used the word ‘you,’ we would answer: Often by personal revelation, always by the law of kindred and genealogy, and the direction of those divinely appointed to administer the ordinances commanded.

. . . .

Question 15:  Do you believe that Christ will come to the temple at Salt Lake City, and is Salt Lake City Zion?

Answer:  We have no revelation on that matter, nor is it preached or discussed.  Any city is Zion that is under control of the ‘pure in heart.’

Question 16:  Why do the elders of your Church use Masonic signs and emblems, and has ‘Mormonism’ anything to do with Free Masonry?

Answer:  We might answer: ‘Because they don’t.’  Seriously, Elders or other ministers of the Church, as such, do not use any signs of secret orders.  Some of our brethren may be or have been members of the Masonic society, but the Church has no connection with what is called ‘Free Masonry.'”  (Charles W. Penrose, of the First Presidency, “Editor’s Table:  Peculiar Questions Briefly Answered,” IE 15(11):1042-1045, Sep., 1912)

30 Oct.:  Confirmed validity of questionable temple work.

“I attended meeting in the Temple.  Bro. Hawkins of Payson had received his sealings in the Temple and had not been ordained an Elder and he feared he had not received his blessings in a right way.  He had now been ordained a Seventy.  I took him up in the Temple and confirmed the validity of the sealings, blessings and ordinations bestowed upon him.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 30 Oct., 1912)

1 Nov.:  Endorsement of Talmage’s House of the Lord.

“The work is a scholarly treatment of the important subject expressed in its title, and the name of its author is sufficient guarantee of its reliability and authenticity.  We commend it to both members and non-members of the Church.”  (Editorial, JI 47(11):631, 1 Nov., 1912)

29 Nov.:  Question on endowments without sealings.

“There was a couple came to the Temple who wanted their endowments, but not be sealed.  I had a talk with the wife and she gave as her reason that she was going to the Hospital and she might not get out again and then he could marry and have her sealed afterwards to him because says she he knows I have been married before.  I told her as she has a child with him it was her right to sealed as his first wife.  they came then and were sealed and had their daughter sealed to them.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 29 Nov., 1912)

Salt Lake Temple “Holy of Holies”. 

“This room is reserved for the higher ordinances in the Priesthood relating to the exaltation of both living and dead.”  (James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord, 1912)