← Back to Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism Index

Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1939

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1939.” You can view other years here.

Search the content below for specific dates, names, and keywords using the keyboard shortcut Command + F on a Mac or Control + F on Windows.

TEMPLES, 1939.

1939:    Jan.:  Trying to place burden of temple work on HPs.

“Now, of course, the Lord says that our greatest individual responsibility is to seek after our dead; but as men holding the Priesthood our responsibility is–so far as temple work is concerned–to teach, to instruct, to persuade, to prevail upon men and women who are not inclined to take advantage of their opportunities and receive these blessings for themselves, to go into the temple where they can do this work.  That is our responsibility as men holding the Priesthood.  It does not make any difference whether we are High Priests, Seventies, or Elders.  We are trying to place this burden especially upon the High Priests of the Church.  The Seventies preach the Gospel–that is where they belong–the Elders are ministers at home, the High Priests are ministers at home, and we are also trying to train them to take upon themselves this responsibility of teaching their fellow men in all that pertains to exaltation and to help prepare them to go to the temple to do these labors in behalf of their dead.  That is our responsibility, and it is a great responsibility.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Duties of the Priesthood in Temple Work,” UGHM 30:3-4, Jan., 1939)

Apr.:  Rules for temple prayer rolls.

“For many years the General Authorities have permitted members of the Church to send in names of the sick and the afflicted to be placed upon a Prayer List in the various Temples of the Church.  This beautiful and sacred practice has been, of course, of great comfort and help over the years.  A few thoughts and suggestions in connection with this privilege will be in order, in view of occasional misunderstandings.

Names remain on the list for a period of two weeks.

A consistent rule governing the placing of names on the Prayer List, if such a rule is necessary, would be as follows: All names placed in the Temple to be prayed for should be with the knowledge and consent of the individual named, or at least with the knowledge and consent of the family of the individual named, if that individual is too ill to express himself.  In no case should members assume to place the names of various friends and neighbors on this sacred list without their knowledge, not only because this is not in keeping with the spirit of this sacred ordinance, but also to avoid the duplications of such names.

As an example of the extremes witnessed in this connection, it is not uncommon to see an individual stand for several minutes at the little counter where prayer names are written, writing as many as a score of names of various neighbors or relatives, who in many cases, have not asked for and do not know that their names are being placed thereon.  As an example of the duplication of such names, at the time of the birth of the Dionne Quintuplets, in one day no less than 25 individuals either wrote their names on the list or telephoned their names in.

In view of the sacredness of the blessed privilege of having names of the sick prayed for in our Holy Temples, we feel it is only consistent to suggest that only with the knowledge and consent of the individual or the family of the individual concerned, should names be placed uon the Temple Prayer List.”  (UGHM 30:101, Apr., 1939)

7 Apr.:  Divorce and temple marriage.

“In examining the records of marriage and divorce in the United States and in the Church, it appears that the average marriage rate for the nation–the latest year in which I have complete information–was 10.28 per 1000 population as compared with 17.3 per 1000 population for the Church, or about 70% more for the Church.  In the matter of divorce, the national rate averaged 1.61 as compared with 0.76 per 1000 population for the Church, or about 53% less for the Church.  In the instance of divorces after Temple marriages, the rate was 0.30 per 1000 population, or about 82% less than for the nation.  Comparison of marriage and divorce rates in each case shows that in the nation the divorce rate was 15.6% of the marriage rate, in the Church generally the average divorce rate was 4.4%, and after Temple marriages, the divorce rate was about 1.7% of the marriage rate.”  (Sylvester Q. Cannon, 7 Apr., 1939; CR Apr., 1939, p. 82)

Jul.:  Renovations of St. George Temple.

“Recently renovated, both inside and out, the St. George Temple is witness of renewed interest in all seven of the stakes which comprise the adjoining temple district.  Several things have contributed to a new state of mind.  The physical changes have, without doubt, had an important effect.  Entailing a total outlay of over $105,000, the entire interior has been made over, the floor plans changed, an elevator installed, and the whole re-plasterd and re-decorated, with the result that all is clean and new and modern in every detail. . . .

During the years when it was the only temple in the Church, people from all sections went there to be married.  It was not uncommon for them to make a three-weeks’ trip to have that ceremony rightly performed.  People were not able to spend much time in ordinance work under such conditions.  But with improved roads and increased number of cars, it is possible now for large companies to come, leaving their homes in the morning and returning the same day.

But more than this, there is a new enthusiasm which brings them.  Partly responsible for this is the encouragement of President Harold S. Snow to the temple activity of the young as well as the old.  If the ordinance is a shield against sin and an incentive for higher living, should it not be made vital during the earlier years?  With this in mind, President Snow has called some fifty persons to assist as ordinance workers, their average age being about thirty-five.  They are all people with growing families, and represent the finest type of the younger members of the Church.  They are all in moderate circumstances and work hard to provide the necessities of life, but they haved accepted the call seriously and thankfully.  Their influence has been to bring in others in the lower age brackets.

The regular ordinance workers, whose years and experience lend dignity and wisdom, are alled on regular two-year missions, two couples coming from each of the outlying stakes.  During this time, they devote themselves entirely to the temple work and stand their own expenses.  Since they represent the various stakes, each uses his influence in encouraging excursions from his own stake, with increased attendance as a result.”  (Juanita Brooks, “The St. George Temple Renewed,” IE 42(7):414, 435, Jul., 1939)

No endowments for women married to non-members.

“Women married to non-members of the Church should not receive their temple endowments.  Women married to members of the Church who are not worthy of temple privileges should be allowed to take their endowments only upon the written consent of their husbands attached to the recommend and after the Stake President has made certain in conversation with the husband that it is wise to allow the woman to receive her endowments.”  (Widtsoe, Priesthood and Church Government (1939 edition), p. 361)