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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1932

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1932.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1932.

1932:  27 Jan.:  Temple ceremonies not man-made.

“I rejoice in the evidences that are revealed to the people themselves who participate in this work, who get individual testimonies that it is true.  It is not a man-made scheme.  There are those who are disputing the origin of these ceremonies and maintain that they are themselves man-made.  But all men and women who go into these houses may bet an individual testimony for themselves that these things are from God.”  (Melvin J. Ballard, discourse delivered during Leadership Week at BYU, 27 Jan., 1932; UGHM 23:145-146, Oct., 1932)

27 Jan.:  Endowments at 15 and 16 years of age.

“As I have listened to the testimonies of President Grant and President Ivins, and others, who, as boys of fifteen or sixteen years of age, received their blessings in the house of the Lord and who testify what a protection it was to them, I have felt that there is nothing that is holding the people of this Church in virtue and righteous as is work of this kind.  Why should not mature, worthy boys and girls receive their blessings?  It fortifies them and makes them desire to live a better manner of life, and I believe it is the most powerful protector against sin we have today.”  (Melvin J. Ballard, discourse delivered during Leadership Week at BYU, 27 Jan., 1932; UGHM 23:146, Oct., 1932)

27 Jan.:  Our departed loved ones know of our work.

“An evidence that those in the Spirit World know of the work we do here in the Temples, was related by President Wood of the Alberta Temple.  While sealing a group of children to their parents, in the midst of the ceremony he felt an impression to ask the mother who was present, ‘Sister, does this list contain the names of all your children?’  She said, ‘Yes.’  He began again, but once more he stopped and asked if the list named all her children.  She told him there were no children.  He attempted to proceed, but a third time was impelled to ask: ‘My Sister, have you not lost a child whose name is not on this list?’  Then she said: ‘Yes, I do remember now.  We did lose a little baby.  It was born alive and then died soon after.  I had forgotten to put its name down.’  The name was given and then it, being the first born, was named first and all were sealed to the parents.

Then President Wood said: ‘Every time I started to seal the children I heard a voice say: “Mother, don’t forget me,” and I could not go any farther.’  The appeal was made each time until the omission was discovered.  Our loved ones who have departed are conscious of what is happening.  They are often very near to us.  Their hearts are turned to the work we are doing.  We can make them happy and make ourselves happy.”  (Melvin J. Ballard, discourse delivered during Leadership Week at BYU, 27 Jan., 1932; UGHM 23:149, Oct., 1932)

7 Mar.:  Reminiscence of Stone font in Nauvoo Temple.

“F. M. Weeks heard his uncle William relate how the baptistry plans called for 

‘twelve life-sized oxen made out of solid stone; they were to stand in a circle, their heads outward, their hind parts together.  On top of their backs was to be a large solid stone bowl for baptismal purposes.  He said they advertised for stonecutters.  Some of the best in America came.  They said no one could cut those oxen out; he [Brigham] told them it could be done.  So he took a chisel and a mallet and cut one out just to show them it could be done, and yet he was not a stonecutter.'”

(Quoting letter from F. M. Weeks to J. Earl Arrington, 7 Mar., 1932; in J. Earl Arrington, “William Weeks, Architect of the Nauvoo Temple,” BYU Studies 19(3):351, Spring, 1979)

10 Apr.:  Changes in ordinances OK. 

“I hold it entirely compatible with the genius of the Church to change its forms of procedure, customs, and ordinances in accordance with our own knowledge and experience. . . . Some changes have been made in recent years and these changes have disturbed some of the members.  Personally, I approve of those changes and hope the general authorities will be led to make others as changing conditions warrant.”  (Stephen L. Richards, Salt Lake Tribune 10 Apr., 1932)

Oct.:  To which husband should the children be sealed?

“There are very real problems which arise in this connection.  A woman, marrying twice, may have children by both husbands.  To whom should she be sealed, and to whom shouild the children be sealed?  The rule on this matter is very explicit.  In all cases where it is a question as to which husband a wife should be sealed, and in all cases where it is a question of sealing children to any other than their own natural parents, consult the President of the Temple.  He has at hand all the official rulings and precedents bearing on such cases, and he is entitled to the inspiration of the Lord to guide him in his decision, after hearing the details of the case.”  (“Field Notes for Genealogical Committeemen,” UGHM 23:158, Oct., 1932)

Oct.:  To prevent duplication of temple work.

“For the purpose of avoiding duplication of temple work, because of this frequent intermingling of lines, a rule was adopted as a temporary device some years ago that each individual was restricted to the paternal lines of his four grandparents.  But even this did not prevent duplication.  The Temple Index Bureau was since instituted, and has functioned so effectively, that the edpedient restricting research to ‘the four lines’ was rendered obsolete and was abandoned.

The instructions governing research and the preparing of names for temple work under which we now operate, are these:

The first responsibility in research of each person is to seek out and do the temple work for the members of the family groups on his direct male or patriarchal line.  This line of his fathers would include the family or families of his father, his father’s father, the father of his father’s father, and so on back.

A person in addition should do research and temple work for the family groups of any of his other progenitors whose names appear on his pedigree chart.  If any one of these progenitors, male or female, married more than once, a separate family group record should be made for every marriage of every progenitor in the pedigree.

Individuals are still further privileged, if they choose to do so, to seek out and record the family groups of the descendants of any one of their direct ancestors.  Thus since your uncle is a son of your grandfather or grandmother, you may do temple work for his family, and for any groups descended from him.  While this is not your direct responsibility, and is outside the ancestral chain, yet it is permitted because of the family relationship; and because it is vital to your grandfather’s future that work is done for all his descendants.  You are in reality working in his behalf.  However, if direct descendants of this uncle are in the Church they have the first right to do the temple work because it is their direct line.  The others may assist them if their help is desired, but they must cooperate closely with and work under the direction of those who are of lineal descent.

If the surname on one of the researcher’s ancestral lines is an unusual and uncommon one, and it is reasonably certain that all bearers of that surname are descended from a common ancestor, records may be tabulated and ordinances administered for those of this surname as ‘relatives.’  Or again, if bearers of one of his surnames resided in the same immediate locality as known ancestors of the heir who bore that surname, and evidences are at hand to indicate that these are descendants of one of his progenitors, even though the exact relationship cannot at present be given, then work may be done for these under the designation of ‘relative.’

The rules of the Temples permit individuals to do temple work (i.e. prepare and send to the Temple lists of names under the heirship of their heirs,) only for their own blood kindred.  They are not permitted to do temple work for ‘friends’ or those outside their lineage, except by special permission of the President of the Temple.  Research in the Genealogical Library is restricted to the lineage of the one making or employing the search.

The Board of Directors of the Genealogical Society has officially expressed its disapproval of methods adopted by some Church members of gathering all names of their own or similar surnames from any book or locality, regardless of whether these are names of those belonging to their own family, or were taken from the immediate locality where their ancestors were known to have resided.  Members should endeavor always to trace their own pedigrees, and obtain names of their own families, so they may be properly linked up by sealing.”  (“Field Notes for Genealogical Committeemen,” UGHM 23:160-161, Oct., 1932)

Oct.:  Running out of names for temple work.

“The attention of all stake and ward leaders in genealogical and temple work, and of all members of the Church, is called to the urgent appeal being made by officials of all the temples that the number of names being sent in for baptism is alarmingly low.  Far more endowments are now being performed than baptisms.

The mistaken practice has arisen for many excursions from stakes, wards or families to come to a temple with no names, expecting that temple authorities will somehow be able to miraculously supply them with names from somewhere.  Every such group is under obligation to bring its own names for baptism; and hereafter will be expected to do so.  Failure to make this provision will be sure to result in disappointment.”  (“Field Notes for Genealogical Committeemen,” UGHM 23:161, Oct., 1932)