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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1919

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1919.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1919.

1919:  1 Mar.:  Vision of spirit world.

“Just prior to going upon a mission I visited with my brother, Frank, who was attending the Brigham Young Academy.  Before parting we held each other’s hands and pledged that we would do our duty toward the work of the Lord and in the salvation of our kindred, both living and dead.  After laboring for a year in the Leeds Conference, I was transferred to the Channel Isles, from when had come my foreparents on my father’s side.  While in Jersey and Guernsey I was blessed in obtaining the names of hundreds of my kindred who had died without a knowledge of the gospel.  In this I was particularly blessed.  Four different times I asked the Lord to lead me to gather the next link in the genealogical chain and four times I was impressed to go to the very parish containing the desired names and data.

After I had gathered back to the date of beginning of record-keeping in the Islands, 1620, and had been in the missionary field twenty-six months, I received the following cablegram from the President of the European Mission, Elder Platte D. Lyman:

‘Released.  Outlaws killed Frank.  Can you sail on Anchoria Saturday.’

I was simply horror-struck.  Frank had been called upon a mission and was to leave for the field, though none had as yet been assigned, as soon as I returned and had a brief visit with him.  How he was killed.  In my sorrow I asked the Elders to pray for me.  We knelt around my bed and each one prayed for me, then I prayed.  In answer and while still upon my knees I heard a voice as plainly as I had ever heard anything and was told that my brother was chosen to take charge of missionary work among my relatives.  Immediately I was led to praise the Lord, for among all my relatives I knew of none who could have charge of that great and wonderful work better than Frank.

Coming home I tried to comfort my grief-stricken parents and brothers and sisters.  I felt, though, I should like to see Frank, and I plead with the Lord several times to grant me that blessing. . . .

While my father and I were visiting the sheep camp in the beautiful White Mountains we both spoke so many times of Frank and I felt like he was with us.  Just before going to bed I went a short distance away among the pines and knelt down and asked again that I might see my brother.

Returning to my bed I retired and while contemplating upon the feeling that Frank was near, my spirit left my body and I saw it lying by the side of my father.  A personage dressed in white, whom I understood to be my guardian angel, beckoned me to follow him.  We traveled with lightning-like speed and in a few moments arrived in a great city in which, I was told, lived the spirits of those who had died without hearing the Gospel.  We approached a large, beautiful building and the door opened and we entered and were welcomed in the door-way by a young lady.  My guardian angel in introducing me informed me that she had been killed while living upon the earth, in mortality, that she was a relative of mine, and was now laboring among my relatives who had not accepted the Gospel, and that all the people in the room were relatives of mine.  I looked over the congregation and estimated that there were about as many present as were accommodated by the great Tabernacle at General Conference time.

Presently I heard speaking in the center of the room, the seating being arranged one tier above the other like an amphitheatre and the speaker being easily seen and heard by all.  How similar was this sermon to the one on the first principles of the gospel as delivered by our missionaries, except when the subject of baptism was spoken of, he said that as baptism was an ordinance that should be attended to by those in mortality, that it was necessary for a relative or friend to be baptized for them, vicariously.  It was a splendid presentation of the principles of salvation.  When the speaker finished he turned around and smiled at me and I saw that he was my brother Frank.  Oh, what joy beamed from his countenance!  I felt that any sacrifice I would be called to make would not be too great, if afterward came such happiness.  My soul yearned to earn the privilege of such blessedness as was his in his truly grand work.

He bowed slightly toward me and I noticed that by his side was a young lady.  I wondered who she was and was told by my accompanying angel that she was to be my brother’s wife.  I was then shown into other rooms in the large building and other relatives who had never been taught the truth, and was impressed with the greatness of the work of proclaiming the Gospel to the departed spirits and of the necessity of attending to the vicarious work for them in the Temples of the Lord.

After passing through the building, I was told by the angel guild that we would go back to my body, which we did in the fleetness of lightning, and in a moment were by the mountain camp.  There lay my body by the side of my father.  My guardian smiled and after a moment’s unconsciousness my spirit entered my body and I sat up. 

Was this not in fulfillment of the Patriarch’s blessing, that at the touch of my guardian angel my spiritual vision should be quickened and that I should look beyond this world of flesh into the world of spirits and commune with my dead for their redemption?

Since that time in connection with other relatives I have done work for hundreds of my kinsmen ‘of the spirit prison.’  The glimpse of the other side has caused me to be more diligent in doing my part toward the redemption of my dead, and I hope to do a great deal more.

Who was the young lady at the door-way who had been killed while in mortality?  I knew of no such a relative but on telling my mother of my vision and describing the young lady, she said she was my cousin, Margaret Odekirk, who was killed, having been thrown from a horse, her foot catching in the stirrups, and after being dragged several blocks was taken up dead.

Who was the young lady by my brother’s side who was to be his wife?  It was made plain a few months after when Mrs. C. I. Kempe came to our home and told us that her daughter, who had died prior to that time, had asked on her death-bed that she be sealed (married) to Frank Lesueur who had been killed; that they had been very friendly at Provo, that she wanted him and knew it would be all right with Frank.  I had not seen Jennie for many years, since she was a little girl, in fact, but when shown her picture and getting a full description of her I was quite sure it was Jennie who was with Frank.  My brother-in-law and my sister atended to their work in the Salt Lake Temple and were married for them vicariously.

In this way my Patriarchal Blessing has been thus far fulfilled and I am truly thankful to the Lord for the added testimony that has come to me as the words spoken upon my head have been realized.”  (James W. Lesueur, President Maricopa Stake, in JI 54(3):123-125, 1 Mar., 1919)

25 May:  H. J. Grant transfiguration in SL Temple.

“I attended fast-meeting at the Temple.  This meeting will be a historical one of a similar to the meeting held in Nauvoo when Prest. Brigham Young was transfigured to look like Joseph Smith and the people took it as a sign that he was the true successor to the martyred prophet.  The following spoke in our fast-meeting and bore testimony that Prest. had looked exactly like Prest. Joseph F. Smith.  Bro. Theodor Tobiason said that at our last fast-meeting he saw Prest. Grant look both in form and expression as Prest. Joseph F. Smith.  Last Sunday when Prest. Grant addressed the Granite Stake conference, there was a man present who was so astonished to know it was Bro. Grant speaking and yet to him it was Prest. Joseph F. Smith preaching.  When the meeting was dismissed he came up to Bro. Tobiason and told him what a remarkable thing he had witnessed and related the same that Tobiasen himself had witnessed on Fast day in the Temple May 4, 1919.  Mrs. Steed, Brother Wilson 17th Ward both bore the same testimony.  Edward Anderson said that in looking at Prest. Grant he saw also the figure of Prest. Jos. F. Smith and that they melted together and as Prest. kept speaking he saw only Prest. Joseph F. Smith.  Miss Ship said My mother told me that she had had the wonderful experience to hear Prest. Grant speak but he looked just like Prest. Jos. F. Smith.

Prest. Grant made a few closing remarks, and said the Testimonies in regard to his looking like Prest Smith made him feel very humble.  The first who mentioned it to him was his own brother B. F. Grant.  Who said Heber, you were Prest. Joseph F. Smith as I looked upon you.  Tobiasen said that when that man told him what he saw last Sunday at the Granite Stake conference, he could not keep backhis tears of joy.  Miss Babcock said ‘I have always looked up Prest. B. Youngs transfiguration as a wonderful event; hearing the testimonies today are just as wonderful and fills me with joy that I have been here today.'”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 25 May, 1919)

2 Jul.:  Collars on the garment.

“I went to the Temple and Jos. Fielding Smith gave us a good discourse on the garment.  Some had said that Prest. Smith had said they could sew the collar to the body of the garment.  Those who told him had heard some one else tell them but says he ‘Prest. Smith has not said so.’  After meeting Susa Y. Gates came and said: ‘Joseph, it was your own mother who told the Board of the Relief Society that the President gave this permission.'”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 2 Jul., 1919)

19 Sep.:  2 anointing given.

“In the Temple meeting Sister Gates sang ‘Come, Come, ye Saints,’ very sweetly.  I gave second anointing to Mrs. Frank Stanley.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 19 Sep., 1919)

26 Sep.:  New formula of ordination in the Temple.

“[Meeting in the Temple]  The question of following the old formula of ordination in the Temple was discussed and most of the Twelve were in favor of President Smith’s change.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 19 Sep., 1919)

8 Oct.:  Mission presidents not to give temple recommends.

“Presidents of Missions are not authorized to give temple recommends; these are issued by the President of the Church for mission members; upon obtaining suitable letters of recommendation from Mission Presidents for such members.  Letters of recommendation should be given only to those who have been members of the Church at least a year, and in good standing for one yeasr prior to giving the recommend.  It must be known that they keep the Word of Wisdom, pay their tithing and otherwise are good members.  Each letter of recommendation should specify what particular blessing the person is recommended to receive.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, “Instructions to Mission Presidents,” 8 Oct., 1919.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 5:163)

10 Oct.:  2nd anointings given.

“I attended Temple meeting.  Bro. Ballard sang and spoke to the meeting.  I gave five persons second anointings.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 10 Oct., 1919)

1 Nov.:  No assembly room in Hawaii temple.

“As it is not generally known that the Temple in Hawaii does not contain a large assembly room in the upper stories like the temples that have hitherto been built, and that the absence of this large feature necessitated a different shape of ground plan with all its natural consequences, the question has often been asked, ‘Why is it that this Temple is so different?’  This question is completely answered by calling attention to the fact that the fundamental principles underlying the designing of temples have been as painstakingly carried out in this edifice as in any of the others, but, on account of the absence of this feature, which in the other buildings takes up almost one-half of the entire structure, the results is necessarily somewhat different in outward expression although it is entirely in agreement so far as essential features are concerned.”  (Hyrum C. Pope, “The Temple in Hawaii,” JI 54(11):576-577, 1 Nov., 1919)

5 Nov.:  Secrecy of the endowments.

“I attended meeting in Temple.  Joseph Fielding Smith spoke to those who had not been in the Temple before and told them to remember all they hear.  They would only be asked to covenant to serve God.  As to secrecy of the endowments he had heard some say that all that Jesus taught was open for all to know.  He said that Jesus forbid his disciples to tell what they had heard on the Mount until he was glorified.  He also forbid them to cast pearls before swine.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 5 Nov., 1919)

2 Dec.:  Hawaiian font smaller than others.

“[Hawaiian Temple]  I spoke at the meeting upon the necessity of baptism and the broadness of the plan of Salvation which allows the ordinances to be performed by proxy.  There were 279 baptized.  I told those who were to be baptized to sit down in the water as if they were sitting down on a chair.  This would help the baptizer and the font would then be large enough.  It is smaller than in the other temples.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 2 Dec., 1919)

3 Dec.:  2nd anointings given in Hawaiian Temple.

“[Hawaiian Temple]  There were 43 endowments given today.  There were also sealings of living and dead.  Adoptions and sealings of children to parents.  Yesterday I gave Bro. Waddoups and wife their second anointings.  I thought it was a good beginning.  I was glad that I was present, as Bro Waddoups and Bro. McAllister were not much acquainted with the work of sealing and the positions at the altar.  I was therefore glad that the different kinds of sealing were asked for today, such sealing for time and sealings for time and eternity, Adoptions, sealings of children to parents and how to come to the altar.  I laid down the rule that the man who does the sealing must have the man on his right hand.  The sealing rooms are small.  I found, however, that they are from south to north, so the altar can be used as we do it in the President’s circle.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 3 Dec., 1919)

28 Dec.:  Masonic connection.

“Modern Masonry is a fragmentary presentation of the ancient order established by King Solomon, from whom it is said to have been handed down through the centuries.

Frequent assertions [are made] that some details of Mormon temple ordinances resemble Masonic rites, and, he added, that he was not sorry there was such a similarity, because of the fact that the ordinances and rites, revealed to Joseph Smith, constituted a reintroduction upon the earth of the divine plan inaugurated in the temple of Solomon in ancient days.

Plans for and ordinancs to be observed in the temple built at Nauvoo, Ill., were revealed to Joseph Smith, as recorded in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, more than a year prior to the time the founder of the Mormon Church became a member of the Masonic order.  The latter order, in effect, claimed origin with King Solomon, but, through lapses and departures, which had naturally come into the order in the course of time, it had fallen somewhat into imperfection of detail.  The temple plan revealed to Joseph Smith was the perfect Solomonic plan, under which no man was permitted to obtain the secrets of Masonry unless he also held the holy priesthood.

Authentic proof in Masonic history went to show that the five lodges of the order, established by Joseph Smith and other members of the Mormon church, had been discountenanced by the great organization through mistaken nonobservance of a mere technicality.  The Mormon lodges had been accepting and advancing members in the order by viva voce vote, instead of by secret ballot, as the rules required.  But the technical offense had been seized upon as a cause for repudiating the lodges established by members of an unpopular church.”  (“Temple Plan is Solomonic One, Speaker Avers–Apostle Melvin J. Ballard Preaches at Tabernacle on Claims of Masonry,” reported in The Salt Lake Herald, 29 Dec., 1919, Vol. 189, No. 58, p. 5) 

Dec.:  No assembly room in Hawaii Temple.

“It is not generally known that this temple does not contain a large assembly room in the upper stories like the temples hitherto built, and that the absence of this large feature necessitated a different shape of ground plan with all its natural consequences.  The question has often been asked, ‘Why is tit that this temple is so different?’  This question is completely answered by calling attention to the fact that the fundamental principles underlying the designing of temples have been as painstakingly carried out in this edifice as in any of the others, but, on account of the absence of this feature, which in the other buildings takes up almost one-half of the entire structure, the result is necessarily somewhat different in outward expression although it is entirely in agreement so far as the essential features are concerned.”  (Hyrum C. Pope, of Pope and Burton, Architects, “About the Temple in Hawaii,” IE 23(2):151, Dec., 1919)