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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1930

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1930.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1930.

1930:  Jan.:  Work for non-relatives.

“When it is necessary to have work done for friends, the President of the Temple should be consulted and his permission obtained before proceeding.”  (Bishop Joseph Christenson, of the Board of Directors, and Chief Recorder of the Salt Lake Temple, “Instructions on Temple Work,” UGHM 21:40, Jan., 1930)

8 Jan.:  New temple recommend forms.

New forms sent to Stakes “to take the place of the individual certificates used heretofore.”  (PBO Circular Letter, 8 Jan., 1930; Lester Bush notes) 

4 Mar.:  Rules concerning sealing of man and women.

“The fact that a man has a wife to whom he has been sealed for time and eternity and who is dead does not in any way debar the man from having another woman sealed to him.  In the life to come the sealing to both women will be in effect.  They are equally his wives, neither having precedence over the other, except in priority of marriage.”  (Anthony W. Ivins to Grover Shapespear, St. George; in Anthony W. Ivins papers)

27 Mar.:  Effect of garment styles on Mormon girls.

“Several years later Elder [George F.] Richards reported to the Council of the Twelve the substance of a conversation he had with his granddaughter in which she told of the effects of the old-style temple garment on Mormon girls.  They were unable to wear desirable clothing because of the garment and some were marrying outside of the temple because of it.  Church leaders were sympathetic with some of these concerns.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 212; also George F. Richards diary, 27 Mar., 1930)

5 Apr.:  Marriage for those who died as children.

“We have people coming to us all the time just as fearful as they can be that a child of theirs who has died will lose the blessings of the kingdom of God unless that child is sealed to someone who is dead.  They do not know the wishes of their child who died too young to think of marriage, but they want to go straight to the temple and have a sealing performed.  Such a thing as this is unnecessary, and in my judgment wrong.  The Lord has said through his servants that during the Millennium those who have passed beyond and have attained the resurrection will reveal in person to those who are still in mortality all the information which is required to complete the work of these who have passed from this life.  Then the dead will have the privilege of making known the things they desire and are entitled to receive.  In this way no soul will be neglected and the work of the Lord will be perfected.  It is the duty of parents who have children who have died which were old enough to be endowed, to go to the temple and perform this endowment for them.  When you have done this you may let the matter of further work rest, except the sealing of these children to their parents, until the proper time comes.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, remarks at the Genealogical Conference, 5 Apr., 1930; UGHM 21:154, Oct., 1930)

May:  Concerning the temple in Independence.

“Early in June 1831, a conference was held in Kirtland.  At the close of this conference, June 7th, the Lord said:

I the Lord, will make known unto you what I will that ye shall do from this time until the next conference, which shall be held in Missouri, upon the land which I will consecrate unto my people, which are a remnant of Jacob, and those who are heirs according to the covenant. * * * And thus, even as I have said, if ye are faithful ye shall assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land of Missouri, which is the land of your inheritance, which is now the land of your enemies.  But, behold, I, the Lord, will hasten the city in its time, and will crown the faithful with joy and with rejoicing.

Obedient to this commandment the elders journeyed forth two by two and in due time arrived in Jackson County, Missouri.  There, in answer to their earnest prayer, the Lord revealed the site of the New Jerusalem and the place for the building of his temple, or holy sanctuary, which had been seen by Enoch and also by Ether, as being established in the last days.  In making this site known the Lord said: 

Hearken, O ye elders of my Church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land which is the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the Saints.  Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion.

The place for the building of the temple was then pointed out.  August 2, 1831, the land was dedicated by Sidney Ridgon as a possession and inheritance for the Saints, and the following day the Prophet Joseph Smith dedicated the site for the temple on a spot a short distance west of the court house in Independence.

That the New Jerusalem, or City Zion, was to be built at once and the temple erected also, naturally was the thought of the assembled brethren.  The Lord had previously given them a commandment respecting their duties and had instructed them in relation to his law to be observed in Zion.  He indicated, also, that the city was not to be built at that time.  

Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.  For after much tribulation come the blessings.  Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.  (D. and C. 58:3-4).

It is true that the Lord would have blessed the Saints and would have commenced the establishment of the Holy City at that time, had they hearkened faithfully to his commandments, but from these words of the Lord it is plain to see that the glory of Zion was future, although in the spiritual sense ‘near at hand.’  In other revelations it was made plain that the elders would have to be endowed with power from on high and go forth to declare the Gospel to the nations and ‘push the people together from the ends of the earth,’ before Zion could be built.  So the Lord in the very beginning instructed the Saints that the building of the New Jerusalem and its sacred temple would be deferred until many other things were accomplished and they had passed through much tribulation.

Nearly one hundred years have passed since the site of Zion was dedicated and the spot for the temple was chosen, and some of the members of the Church seem to be fearful lest the word of the Lord shall fail.  Others have tried to convince themselves that the original plan has been changed, and that the Lord does not require at our hands this mighty work which has been predicted by the prophets of ancient times.  We have not been released from this responsibility, nor shall we be.  The word of the Lord will not fail.  If we look back and examine his word carefully we will discover that nothing has failed of all that he has predicted, neither shall one jot or tittle pass away unfulfilled.  It is true that the Lord commanded the Saints to build to his name a temple in Zion.  This they attempted to do, but were prevented by their enemies, so the Lord did not require the work at their hands at that time.  The release from the building of the temple in 1833, did not, however, cancel the responsibility of building the City and the house of the Lord, at some future time.  When the Lord gets ready for it to be accomplished, he will command his people, and the work will be done.

In a revelation given September 22 and 23, 1832, the Lord said:

Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation.

For verily this generation shall not pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.

There have been various interpretations given to the term ‘generation.’  There are those who hold that a generation is one hundred years; that it can not mean more or less; others maintain a generation to be one hundred and twenty years.  Some references in the scriptures indicate that the term should be applied to those who are living at any one period of time, or the people of the same period or age.  It seems to me, however, that the meaning should be interpreted by the reading of the context.  When the Lord sayd ‘These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth,’ he had something more in mind that a period of time of one hundred years.  When the Savior said: ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign,’ he had in mind the people, not a period of time.  So, it appears, we may be justified in concluding that the reading of the aforementioned revelation: ‘For verily this generation shall not all pass,’ has reference to those then living, not to the period of one hundred years.  I firmly believe that there will be some of that generation who were living when this revelation was given who shall be living when this temple shall be reared.  And I do not believe that the Lord has bound himself to accomplish the matter within one hundred years from 1832, but he has the power to accomplish this before 1932, if he wills.

No matter what the correct interpretation may be, the fact remains that the City Zion, or New Jerusalem, will eventually be built in Jackson County, Missouri, and the temple of the Lord will also be constructed.  I have full confidence in the word of the Lord and that his word shall not fail.

Neither will the Lord call upon those who are cut off from his people to accomplish his holy work.  The temple will not be built by those who say that Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet, and who have failed to accept the fulness of the word of the Lord as it came through him.  No people will be commanded and directed by revelation from the Lord to build his temple, when they know nothing of temple building and the ordinances performed in temples.  The Latter-day Saints may be assured that when the time comes for the building of the house of the Lord, he will call upon his people who have remained true and have been faithful in the purposes of the Lord in bringing to pass the salvation of the living and of the dead.  We may be doubly sure that the Lord did not send Elijah the prophet with the keys of the sealing ordinances which are performed in the temple so that the earth will not be smitten with a curse when the Redeemer shall come, and then call into favor a people who rejected the coming of Elijah and all the authority and keys he was sent to bestow, and ask them to build the temple of the Lord.

Those who hold the portion of the temple site where the dedication took place in 1831 are without divine authority.  We may say of them as the Lord said of those of old: ‘Woe unto you * * * for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.’  When the Lord shall speak, the way shall be opened for the accomplishment of his purposes, and all opposition will melt like the hoar frost before the rising sun.  ‘For thus saith the Lord, I will cut short my work in righteousness, for the day come [sic] that I will send forth judgment unto victory.’  ‘Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.'”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “The New Jerusalem and its Temple,” IE 33(7):468-469, May, 1830)

17 Jun.:  Unauthorized alterations of garments.


Heber J. Grant, President

Salt Lake City, Utah

June 17, 1930

Sisters Ryth May Fox, Lucy G. Cannon.

and Clarissa Beesley,  

Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Ass’n,

Dear Sisters;

Your letter of March 18th, enclosing a copy of a letter you had written to Mrs. Alta Dayton, was placed with my personal correspondence. I have not yet answered all the mail that accumulated during my visit in the East in February and March and while I was in California after the April Conference. I came to your letter this afternoon.

Whenever we receive inquires regarding the temple garment, we reply as follows:

“The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve have approved of the temple garment with the following modifications;   1. Sleeve to elbow,

  2. Leg just below knee,

  3. Buttons instead of strings,

  4. Collar eliminated,

  5. Crotch closed.

“The saints using the modified garment as specified above will not be out of harmony with the order of the Church. Garments with straps over the shoulders instead of sleeves have not been approved by us.

“In order that there may be uniformity in temple work and that expedition in the administration of the ordinances of the House of the Lord may not be impeded, we recommend that people doing temple work, whether it be ordinance work for the dead or first endowments for the living, wear the approved garment in use before the above modifications were approved.”

With all good wishes,

Sincerely your friend and brother,

(signed) Heber J. Grant.”

(Letter from Heber J. Grant to Sisters Ryth May Fox, Lucy G. Cannon, and Clarissa Beesley; June 17, 1930.)

16 Oct.:  Non-attendance of General Authorities.

“President Grant and a number of his family went through [the temple].  The President remarked to me, referring to a suggestion he made in our council meeting of a few weeks ago that others of the General Authorities should go through occasionally if not regularly, that with the other brethren, his suggestion didn’t soak in very fast.”  (George F. Richards diary, 16 Oct., 1930)

25 Nov.:  Criteria for temple recommend.

“In 1930, he [George F. Richards] received an inquiry from a stake presidency as to what constituted worthiness to receive a temple recommend to enter the temple.  Specifically they wanted to know if observance of the Word of Wisdom (the Mormon health code), and the payment of tithing were requirements.  Elder Richards replied that because the temple blessings are the greatest God can give, Church members should be faithful, worthy Latter-day Saints before they are recommended to the temple.  If they are unwilling to pay tithing there is little reason for them to be recommended to the temple where they would be expected to make solemn covenant to consecrate all they possess.  The temple president also asserted that Church members should be sexually chaste and free from profanity before entering the temple.  Moreover, users of tobacco and liquor should not be sent to the temple until they repent.  Elder Richards reported that when people come to the temple smelling of tobacco or liquor they had been denied admittance.  He urged the stake presidency to teach the people what was expected of them before they were recommended.  ‘Help keep the temple free from pollution,’ he implored.”  (Mouritsen Diss., pp. 207-208; also Twin Falls Stake Presidency to George F. Richards, 20 Nov., 1930; and George F. Richards to Twin Falls Stake Presidency, 25 Nov., 1930.  Richards Papers, LDS Archives)