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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1940

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1940.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1940.

1940:  Jan.:  Our individual responsibility.

“In order for each person to reach this high exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom and become ‘perfect,’ he must be connected by the sealing powers of the Priesthood with all his progenitors who are dead, and likewise be connected by sealing with all his posterity to the last generation that lives upon the earth.

Hence, it becomes our clear duty to trace back the records of the families of each of our forefathers, and to compile a complete and correct record of the family of every one of our descendants.  Every child in every family must be sought out and identified, and not one shall be missing with the record is complete.”  (“Genealogical Society,” IE 43(1):44, Jan., 1940)

Mar.:  Communication between the dead and the living.

“It would seem unthinkable that a cry for help from a million million hearts in the hinterland of mortality should fail to awaken response in the bosoms of men and women now on the earth-plane.  This response accounts for the zeal everywhere in gathering and recording genealogical data.

Thus, on one occasion my sainted mother not only listened to the pleadings of a dear dead relative that the vicarious work be done for her, but afterward beheld her spirit moving step by step with her in the endowment rooms of the temple.  Thousands of similar instances could be collected from men and women who have responded to the spirit of Elijah.”  (N. L. Nelson, “Temple Consciousness for the Dead,” IE 43(3):153, Mar., 1940)

5 Apr.:  The endowment of Peter, James and John.

“Now under these conditions, when there is no house of the Lord and the work is urgent, the Lord makes it possible that not only baptism for the dead but the ordinances that pertain to the house of the Lord may be performed in the wilderness, on a mountain top, or in a lake or a stream of water.  I am convinced in my own mind that when the Savior took the three disciples up on the mount, which is spoken of as the ‘Mount of Transfiguration,’ He there gave unto them the ordinances that pertain to the house of the Lord and that they were endowed.  That was the only place they could go.  That place became holy and sacred for the rites of salvation which were performed on that occasion.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Latter-day Temple Work,” address delivered at the Genealogical Conference in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, 5 Apr., 1940; UGHM 31:194, Oct., 1940)

5 Apr.:  Temple work not to be performed for all.

“I want to correct another idea that prevails very largely in the minds of many members of the Church.  I know that this thing is discussed in our Gospel Doctrine classes, in our Mutuals, and in other places, because the question is brought to me frequently and they contend on it–the question whether or not the temple work will have to be performed for everybody upon the earth.  I want to say to you no, absolutely no.  Now let us get this plainly in our minds.  I think it is a self-evident truth that ought to impress us without any argument whatever.  All of the ordinances of the Gospel–baptism, laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, the work in the temples for the salvation of the living and the dead–these ordinances, everything else, all of the ordinances of the Gospel, pertain to the celestial kingdom of God.  We are not preaching the Gospel with the idea of trying to save people in the terrestrial world.  We are not preaching the Gospel of salvation for people in the telestial world.  Ours is the salvation of exaltation.  What we are trying to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to bring people back again, through the power of the Priesthood and the ordinances of the Church, as sons and daughters of God, receiving a fulness of the Father’s kingdom.  That is our endeavor.

We are not going to do the temple work for everybody, because it doesn’t pertain to them.  We are going to do the temple work for those who are entitled, through their faith and their repentance, to enter into the celestial kingdom.  But somebody says, ‘How do we know?  We search our records for hundreds of years and do the work for all of them.’  Of course we do, because we can’t judge.  I don’t know whether one man is worthy and another isn’t.  The Lord has given us the privilege of doing the work for all of our kindred, with the hope of course that all of them will receive the truth, and since we are of the house of Israel our parents, generation by generation as they go back, also would be of the house of Israel, and hence they would be more likely to receive the Gospel than would those who are purely Gentiles.  Now if there are any in our lines we do work for in the temple who are unworthy or unwilling to receive the ordinances of the house of the Lord, then the Lord will be the judge.  He will set that ordinance aside and it will not be accounted as done.  That is in His hands.  Our duty is to do the work the Lord has required at our hands for the salvation of our dead.

Now in the justice of our Father in Heaven every soul on the face of the earth must have an opportunity to receive the Gospel.  I want to read a verse to you from the Doctrine and Covenants:

For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated.

And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.  (D&C 1:2-3.)

Now reason teaches us that it is a physical impossibility for us to reach every soul upon the face of the earth with a knowledge of the Gospel.  We have not done that.  With all the means at our command they have been dying by the thousands, both in the days since the work began and before, without having heard the voice of a servant of the Son of God upon the earth; yet the time must come, in the justice of our Father in Heaven, when every soul must hear–every ear shall hear, every eye shall see, every heart shall be penetrated–and if it isn’t done in this life by the preaching of the Gospel then it must be done among the dead, in the spirit world; but it must be done.

Now you have heard tonight the statement read from one of the letters or epistles the Prophet wrote to the brethren in England (on baptism for the dead).  I want to call attention to one of the expressions in that letter:

I first mentioned the doctrine in public when preaching the funeral sermon of Brother Seymour Brunson; and have since then given general instructions in the Church on the subject.  The Saints have the privilege of being baptized for those of their relatives who are dead, whom they believe would have embraced the Gospel, if they had been privileged with hearing it, and who have received the Gospel in the spirit, through the instrumentality of those who have been commissioned to preach to them while in prison.  (HC 4:231.)

Now this idea that some of us have that we can go into the temple and perform the ordinances for the people who have been bitter against the truth, have known the truth and had every opportunity to receive the Gospel and have refused to receive it, and then when they did we can go to the temple and do the work for them, is not in keeping in any sense with the revelations the Lord has given us.

Now in this revelation given by the Prophet known as Section 128 of the Doctrine and Covenants, speaking there of baptism and of keeping a record it says:

You may think this order of things to be very particular; but let me tellyou that it is only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead who should die without a knowledge of the gospel.  (v. 5)

In January, 1836, the Prophet received in the Kirtland Temple one of the most remarkable revelations in relation to salvation for the dead which the Church had received.  It isn’t in the Doctrine and Covenants.  Some people have an idea that everything that is a revelation is in the Doctrine and Covenants.  Here is what the Lord said to the Prophet:

All who have died without a knowledge of this Gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom, for I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.  (HC 2:380.)

And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability, are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.  (HC 2:381.)

Now those statements are very emphatic indeed in relation to the salvation of the dead.  Read Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants, that there will be an innumerable host of the inhabitants of the earth that will enter the telestial kingdom–countless as are the stars or the sands of the sea.  Why will they enter the telestial kingdom?  Because they have been content to live a telestial law.  That is why.  They will be judged according to the intent of their hearts.  All who would have received the Gospel, that did not have that opportunity here, will receive it in the spirit world.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Latter-day Temple Work,” address delivered at the Genealogical Conference in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, 5 Apr., 1940; UGHM 31:196-198, Oct., 1940)

25 May:  Some temple statistics are not to be published.

“May 25, 1940

Mr. N. B. Lundwall

P.O. Box 2033

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brother:

Regarding your proposed new book on “Temples of the Most High”, I suggest that you confine your statistics to those which have already been approved by the General Authorities for publicity. Even some already published by the Arizona Temple, by Brother Frank T. Pomeroy, are now withheld from the general public. No statistics should be given out by any of the Temples until the items are first submitted to the First Presidency. Bishop Christiansen was right when he answered you to this effect.

Again, thanking you for a copy of “The Vision”, I remain

Sincerely yours.

/s/ David O. McKay”

(Lundwall Microfilm Roll #1; Letter from President D. O. McKay to N. B. Lundwall; May 25, 1940.  Bergera collection.)

1 Aug.:  New Sunday School courses to include genealogy.

“In order to remove conflicts and duplications in Sunday School, Seminary, and Genealogical courses of study and to simplify and reduce repetitious programs and work of the organizations, extensive modifications will be made in Sunday School courses of study effective January 1, 1941.

Announcement was recently made by the General Authorities of the plan to incorporate into Sunday School courses those Gospel studies heretofore offered in classes of instruction held by the Genealogical Society.  In Sunday School departments for young people 10 and 11 years of age and also at the 15 and 16 year age level, units of study stressing applications to genealogy and temple work will be offered.

Sunday School courses of study have always included Gospel themes of Genealogical import.  Especially attention will be given hereafter to such themes with a view to bringing out clearly the applications to genealogical and temple work.

The needs of the Church for specialized instruction in genealogical record keeping and research will be met by offering in the Sunday Schools an optional, one year, ‘genealogical training course,’ open to interested people over 18 years of age.  This course will resemble the specialized training courses now offered in the Sunday Schools for prospective teachers and for missionaries.

Subjects in the Gospel Doctrine department having genealogical significance will be developed for the benefit of adult and to motivate them in genealogical and temple work.

With provision thus made in Sunday School courses of study for emphasizing Gospel principles related to genealogical and temple work, the Genealogical Society has announced that hereafter separate genealogical classes will not be held.  While this will reduce the number of meetings to be attended by members of the Church, it will bring opportunities for studying genealogy to a larger number.  The outcome of this combination should therefore be all gain and no loss.”

(Instructor 75(8):333, 1 Aug., 1940)

“At the last April conference the First Presidency announced that the auxiliary associations were reconsidering their whole field, to see what might be done by them to meet, so far as possible, the unusual needs of the times, as well as more clearly to define their field of activity, to cut out duplications and overlapping, and to eliminate the increasing waste in effort, time, and funds.

The First Presidency are now able to announce that the auxiliaries have taken the first step in this direction by providing for the incorporation into the curriculum of the Sunday Schools the work which has been heretofore done at the weekly genealogical meetings, the work in the Sunday Schools to include all ages.  This consolidation will do away with the weekly genealogical meetings.  It has been brought about through the hearty cooperation of the authorities of the Sunday School and of the Genealogical Society.”  (“Editorial,” IE 43(8):480, Aug., 1940)

1 Sep.:  Genealogical instruction in the Sunday School.

“This incorporation of genealogical studies and activities into the curriculum of the Sunday School is in conformity with the wish of the First Presidency to simplify the demands upon the time and energies of Church members without lessening the good accomplished, and to avoid unnecessary overlapping and duplication of study. . . .

Representatives of the General Board of the Sunday School and of the Board of Directors of the Genealogical Society of Utah have collaborated in a fine spirit of cooperation to make such a desirable amalgamation successful.  We feel sure that the Spirit of the Lord has directed their deliberations, and that as a result a new and greater era in temple and genealogical activity is about to dawn. . . .

The conduct of public special genealogical meetings, the organization of stake and ward temple appointments and the securing of names and proxies will continue as the specific responsibility of stake and ward temple and genealogical chairmen and their assistants.  The presiding officials of other groups have pledged the complete support of their units of the Church in giving full cooperation.  A close alliance with the Priesthood quorums is also being sought to make such temple appointment successful.”  (Archibald F. Bennett, Secretary Genealogical Society of Utah, Instructor 75(9):387, 1 Sep., 1940)

22 Sep.:  Joseph’s garments protected him.

“The Prophet Joseph’s Garments Protected Him

Ogden, Utah

2025 Wall Ave.

September 22, 1940

My mother, Julia Bowen Dalton was born August 26, 1820, and lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, at the time the Saints experienced the trying times in their history. She was very intimate with the Prophet Joseph Smith’s family and particularly with Emma Smith. My mother was visiting in the Mansion House at the time the Prophet was killed. The enemies of the Prophet had attempted several times to assassinate him. Just before going to Carthage, he came to one of his wives and stated to her that it was to be that he should lay down his life as a martyr to the testimony he bore, but that his enemies could not take his life while he was wearing his garments. He took them off before leaving for Carthage.

My mother stated to me that the garments at that time had the collar and strings on. She also stated that she had danced many times in the Mansion House. The above facts my mother stated to me many times as she would relate the many wonderful things that transpired in those days, in her acquaintance with the prophet Joseph.

The above statement I certify to be true as and [sic] of as full force and effect as though it were notarized.

  Signed: ___/s/__Sarah_Louise_Elder____

Witnesses to signature:



(Statement of Sarah Louise Elder; Lundwall Rolls #2, Frame Index Item #245; September 22, 1940; Bergera Collection)

Sep.:  Chapels not to be used for wedding ceremonies.

“Occasionally young couples who for various reasons either do not wish or cannot go to the Temple to be properly married express the desire to have an elaborate ‘Church Wedding,’ and wish to hold such in ward chapels.  This practice should be discontinued.

Parents, stake, and ward officers should use their utmost endeavor to influence young men and women so to live as to be worthy to be married in the Temple.  It is a privilege and a blessing to have the wedding ceremony consumated in the House of the Lord.  The so-called ‘Church Wedding,’ however elaborate is, after all, merely a civil ceremony, and cannot in any manner take the place of the proper form of marriage.

Though the use of chapels for these civil marriage ceremonies is discouraged, it should be understood that there is no objection to the holding of wedding receptios in recreation halls as has been the practice on occasions heretofore.

If the couple holding such reception cannot go to the Temple, and desires the ceremony to be performed just prior to the reception, permission may be granted to have a simple service held either in the recreation hall or lounge adjoining.

In all civil marriages Latter-day Saint couples should be admonished to have either the bishop of the ward or the president of the stake perform the ceremony.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Stake Presidencies, Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks and Other Church Officers, No. 16, 1940, p. 121)

Sep.:  Preparing young people for temple marriage.

“Many young people decide to marry who have neglected the preparation necessary to justify the issuance of Temple recommends by bishops.  Such a situation is unfortunate and can be prevented.  It is, of course, primarily the responsibility of parents to teach their sons and daughters the importance and sanctity of the marriage covenant.  Bishops may also give instructions on this subject from time to time in sacrament meetings and, at reasonable intervals, speak personally, if possible, to every young man and woman prior to the time they become engaged, and particularly to those who may be careless and negligent, in order that all shall be informed of the necessary preparation for Temple marriage.  Attention may be directed, in a careful way, to the covenants they will be required to take upon themselves in going through the Temple and that they must evidence a willingness to observe the commandments of the Lord and attend their meetings so as to be worthy to receive the blessings desired.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Stake Presidencies, Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks and Other Church Officers, No. 16, 1940, p. 123)

Sep.:  Sealings after civil marriages.

“Permission may be granted to couples who have been married by civil law to have their marriages solemnized in the Temple, at such time as local authorities feel assured of their personal purity and worthiness and of the genuineness of their desire for the blessings of the House of the Lord.

Couples who have associated together illicitly should not be recommended to the Temple until they have satisfied their bishops that they have thoroughly repented, and have shown their repentance by living righteously for a prolonged period of time.  Mere sorrow is not repentance.  It is urged that the desirability of Temple marriages be continually emphasized.

Marriages in the Temple following civil ceremonies are sealing only, and should not be reported as Temple marriages.  A Temple marriage is one in which the parties enter into the marriage relationship for the first time.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Stake Presidencies, Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks and Other Church Officers, No. 16, 1940, pp. 123-124)

Sep.:  Dissolution of Temple Marriages.

“The Church has no authority to grant civil divorces.  That is a concern of the State.  The Church, however, may dissolve that part of a marriage for time and eternity which pertains to the life after this.  The power to ‘bind on earth and in heaven’ is power also to ‘loose on earth and in heaven.’  Each request to have an eternal marriage annulled, must come before the president of the Church for action.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Stake Presidencies, Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks and Other Church Officers, No. 16, 1940, p. 124)

Sep.:  Undue publicity of temple garment should be avoided

“It is the duty of all persons who have been through the Temple to see that the garment is not subjected to undue publicity, and to unite in an earnest effort to re-establish [what does this mean?] and to maintain the reverence it merits.

To this end it is recommended that leading stake and ward officers discreetly dissuade all members of the Church from even asking for ‘L.D.S. garments’ when purchasing from mercantile institutions, and from buying garments that have been unauthoritatively marked.  Authorized manufacturers and distributors of the garment will be requested not to advertise or openly to display the garments, but to keep them in boxes or other closed retainers.  A request by the purchaser for ‘garments of the authorized pattern’ is all the designation necessary.

The marks should never be placed on garments except by one who is entitled to wear them.  Where garments are marked before being sold, the marking must have been done by one officially authorized.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Stake Presidencies, Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks and Other Church Officers, No. 16, 1940, pp. 124-125)

Sep.:  Temple Recommends.

“How And To Whom Recommends Are To Be Issued–Every Church member eight years of age and over requires a recommend to enter the Temple.

Temple recommends are to be issued in triplicate–the originals to be sent to the Temple, the duplicates given to the applicants, and the triplicates to remain in the recommend books for the bishops’ records.  The original copies of the recommends should either be mailed or be delivered personally to the Temple by the bishops and are not to be given to the persons in whose favor they are issued.  The duplicate copies will identify members when they arrive at the Temple.

A bishop should not issue a recommend to any person who has not been a member of record of his ward for at least one year, except upon receipt of a letter written by the bishop of the ward, president of the branch, or president of the mission of which the applicant was a member during the year immediately preceding the date of application for a recommend, stating that the person requesting a recommend is worthy to enjoy the privileges of the Temple.  But a bishop, branch or mission president will not certify to another bishop, branch president or mission president as to the worthiness of any person to receive a Temple recommend, unless the person has been a member of record of his ward, branch, or mission for at least one year, and is otherwise considered worthy.

No person should be given a recommend to the Temple who does not uphold the General Authorities of the Church; who is not an honest tithepayer or who does not undertake to become an honest tithepayer, as distinguised from a part tithepayer or a token payer; who does not either observe the Word of Wisdom or express a willingness to undertake to observe the Word of Wisdom; and who is not otherwise fully worthy by believing in and living the Gospel.  Young people going to the Temple to receive their own endowments should agree to wear the garment properly before receiving a recommend.

Temple recommends, properly signed, may be issued by bishops and presidents of Independent branches to members of record who meet the foregoing requirements, to receive ordinances for themselves or for the dead.  When a member wishes to visit several Temples during the year, a recommend to each Temple will be required.

Applicant’s Statement–Space is provided on the back of the Temple recommend for the applicant to state his qualifications and Church standing.  The statement is to be filled in and signed personally by the applicant.  Recommends will not be accepted at the Temple if the Statements are not filled in and signed when presented.  The applicant must sign all three copies of the recommend.

When recommends are issued to persons who have not paid tithing or who have not kept the Word of Wisdom, or who have not observed any of the other requirements listed in the various items of the Statement, the bishop should carefuly point out that the promise contained in item VI of the Statement will require that they amend their lives in the ways in which they fall short, and he will render such aid as may be possible to help such persons in their efforts to live righteously; provided, however, no one who cannot honestly make the affirmations contained in items numbered I and II on the Statement shall receive a recommend to the Temple.  In no case will a recommend be given to an applicant merely because he has had a recommend before; each applicant must show his worthiness for a recommend each time he applies therefor.

To safeguard bishops and presidents of Temples, and to provide shorter periods when those who enjoy the privileges of the Temple may be interviewed by their bishops, recommends will expire June 30 and December 31 of each year.  Church members will therefore be required to make application each six months for recommends.  Any person becoming unworthy during the period shall have his recommend immediatly revoked.

Statement of President Brigham Young on Temple Recommends–‘These men and women whom you recommend must be individuals who pay their tithing from year to year; who pray in their families, and do not speak against the authorities of the Church and kingdom of God; not steal; nor lie; nor interfere with their neighbors’ things; nor their neighbors’ wives or husbands, who attend strictly to meetings and prayer meetings, and those who pay due respect to their presiding officers, and bishops and those who do not swear.’

(Taken from Journal History May 19, 1856, Page 1.  From a letter of instructions from President Young to bishops, in regard to Temple work.)

Statement of President Lorenzo Snow on Tithing and Temple Recommends–

Teach the children to pay tithing, so that it may be perpetually observed.

If we observe this law, no matter what our enemies may do, the Lord will preserve us.

Because we are sons and daughters He loves us, and He has forgiven our forgetfulness of this holy law in the past, but He will not forgive you and me any longer.  I say it in the name of the Lord.  He will not forgive this people any longer.  Should we continue in this dilatory way of paying tithing we will be scattered just as the people in Jackson County were.  This is true as God is true.

The Lord has blessed us wonderfully and preserved us in the land, and yet we have refused to pay our honest debt to Him.

A great many people have not paid one cent of tithing, and yet they have gone into the Temples of the Lord.  (Then speaking to the officers of the stakes and wards, he said):  How do you feel when you give a recommend to a person to go into our Temples who pays no tithing, who only pays half a tithing?  How will you feel after this?  You will feel that you are taking a sacred responsibility in doing that which God does not approve.  He has said that the man who fails to pay his tithing shall have no place among the people of God.  Yet here are these Temples, erected by the sacrifice of the poor, and to give recommends to parties who pay little or no tithing, how can you feel to take this responsibility?  I could not.

Special Cases–Recommends may be given to wives of members of the Church who have not had their own endowments only if husbands are absolutely willing that the endowments should be given to their wives.  Before such recommends are issued presidents of stakes will be expected to personally interview husbands in order to assure themselves that the husbands have no objection to the endowments being given to their wives.  Husbands must express their willingness and consent in writing, and this written consent is to be attached to the Temple recommend, which must be signed by the bishop of the ward and the president of the stake, or, in the case of people living in the missions, by the president of the branch and the president of the mission.  Recommends will not be accepted at the Temple for these special cases unless the letters of consent accompany them.  Women should not be urged nor requested to take advantage of this rule.  It is a privilege to be granted those who have proved themselves worthy and are desirous of receiving these blessings.

Under no circumstances is a recommend to the Temple to be issued to a wife whose husband is not a member of the Church.  Experience has shown that the results of giving endowments to women whose husbands are not members of the Church have led to regrettable and unfortunate conditions.

Witnessing Marriages or Viewing Interior of Temples–Do not issue recommends for witnessing Temple marriages, or for the purpose of being shown through a Temple, to children or adults who have not received their own endowments.

Adoptions–Living children should be adopted through legal proceedings of an established court before being sealed to adopted parents by Temple ceremony.  This rule applies irrespective of age.  Parents who desire to adopt children should indicate a willingness to make the adopted children legal heirs to property on a par with their natural children.  Legal adoption papers should be shown to the Temple presidency at the time the request for adoption of children is made.

Name and Status–One person only should be named on a recommend.

. . . .

Bishops should make sure that in the case of a divorced person being recommended for Temple marriage, a final divorce decree has been secured; and if the individual was married in the Temple previously that a Temple divorce [!] has been granted in the case of a woman.  However, a man married in the Temple who has had a civil but not a Temple divorce may be recommended for Temple marriage without first having the previous sealing annulled.

. . . .

Certification–the written signatures of the bishop or branch president and the stake president are required.

In the absence of a bishop or stake president, a counselor may sign the recommend as First or Second Counselor.  (Handbook of Instructions for Stake Presidencies, Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks and Other Church Officers, No. 16, 1940, pp. 129-134)

Sep.:  Restoration of priesthood and temple blessings.

“Applications for the restoration of priesthood and Temple blessings to men who have been excommunicated and returned to the Church again by baptism and confirmation should be submitted to the president of the Church.  These blessings may be restored upon his authority.  In the case of women it is not necessary to submit these cases for the written approval of the president of the Church, but members of the Council of the Twelve, when visiting the stakes, may investigate each case on their own responsibility and restore former blessings upon women who have been reconfirmed members of the Church, having had this authority delegated to them in advance by the president of the Church.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Stake Presidencies, Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks and Other Church Officers, No. 16, 1940, p. 149)

Oct.:  New genealogical plan clarified.

“How genealogical activities will be conducted under the new plan recently announced, which provides for the incorporation into the curriculum of the Sunday Schools the work which formerly was done at the weekly genealogical meetings, is explained in additional instructions which have been issued to the wards and stakes throughout the Church:

Intensive work in home visiting will be discontinued; the chief concern of genealogical officers will be the promotion and direction of temple work.

In the stake, the temple and genealogical organization will consist of a stake chairman and two assistants, the chairman to be a member of the stake high council, one of the assistants a Seventy, and the other an Elder.  Duties of the stake chairman will be to exercise general supervision of, and to encourage, temple attendance in the stake; to direct the planning of successful programs for presentation in ward Sacrament meetings on the fifth Sunday of any month; to arrange for the outlined program for the annual Genealogical Sunday given in every ward of the stake in September; to foster the formation of family organizations, and to promote an increase of family research on approved lines.  One of the assistants is to have general supervision of endowment and sealing appointments for the stake and of the compilation of reports of temple work done.  The other assistant will be in charge of all stake baptismal appointments.

The ward organization patterns after that of the stake: a ward chairman and two assistants, with their duties similar to those of the respective stake officers, as applied to the ward sphere.  The ward chairman is to be either a High Priest, Seventy, or Elder chosen from the Church Service Committee of the quorum to which he belongs.  His two assistants are to be chosen from the Church Service Committee of the other two quorums–i.e., if the chairman selected is a High Priest, then one of his assistants should be a Seventy, one an Elder.

In the ward there will also be a Temple and Genealogical Committee, to include the ward chairman and his two assistants; a secretary, whose special duty will be to obtain annual and life memberships to the Genealogical Society of Utah; the teacher of the training class in genealogy in the Sunday School; and a representative of the Sunday School Gospel Doctrine class.”  (“The Church Moves On,” IE 43(10):604, Oct., 1940)

Temple work for kindred only.

“The rules of the Temples permit individuals to do temple work for their own blood kindred only.  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.”  (Out of the Books, Genealogical Training Sunday School Lessons.  Deseret Sunday School Union Board, 1940.  p. 23)

5 Sep.:  Ring service discontinued in temple weddings.

“In 1940, under the direction of the First Presidency, he [George F. Richards] instructed temple presidencies to discontinue the ring service in marriage ceremonies.  Rings could be exchanged after the ceremony, but not as part of the ordinance itself.  The ring service was a legacy of sectarian marriages and certainly typified important aspects of marriage.  But it was not thought to be necessary in temple marriages.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 215; also George F. Richards diary, 5 Sep., 1940)

5 Sep.:  Individual use of prayer rooms discontinued.

“Elder [George F.] Richards also directed temple presidents to discontinue providing prayer rooms with altars for individual use.  The temple, he believed, was not erected for such purposes.  Church members could pray with as much intensity at home as in the temple.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 215; also George F. Richards diary, 5 Sep., 1940)

5 Dec.:  Concerning Temple Recommends.

“We wish to draw to your attention, the new instructions with reference to Temple recommends.

First, Temple recommends are to be issued in triplicate . . . one copy to the temple, one to member, one stays in book . . . 

We wish to piont out to you one or two pertinent points in the instructions which need your earnest consideration and application.

1st. No to be issued to those in ward less than a year, unless on receipt of a letter from bishop, etc., of previous ward.

2nd. No person should be given a recommend to the Temple who does not uphold the General Authorities of the Church; who is not an honest tithepayer or who does not undertake to become an honest tithepayer, as distinguished from a part tithepayer or a token payer; who does not either observe the Word of Wisdom or express a willingness to undertake to observe the Word of Wisdom; and who is not otherwise fully worthy by believing in and living the Gospel.  Young people going to the Temple to receive their own endowments should agree to wear the garment properly before receiving a recommend.  When a member wishes to visit several Temples during the year, a recommend to each Temple will be required.

3rd. We wish to draw your attention to the applicant’s statement provided on the back of the Temple Recommend, wherein he states his qualifications and Church standing.  The statement is to be filled in and signed personally by the applicant, and may we point out to you that recommends will not be accepted at the Temple if the statements are not filled in and signed when presented.  The applicant must sign all three copies of the recommend.

4th. Expires June 30 and Dec. 31 . . . any person becoming unworthy during the period shall have his recommend immediately revoked.

Temple cards of admission issued by Temples are hereafter to be eliminated, and it will be necessary for all those going to the Temple to have their recomends at hand to gain admission.

The Presiding Bishopric,

by LeGrande Richards.”

(PBO Circular Letter, 5 Dec., 1940; CR4 205 Box 2 Folder 5 [?]; Lester Bush notes)

Lord’s garments to be red at the 2nd coming.

“In ancient times in some parts of the world, people used to squeeze the juice out of the grapes by placing the grapes in a wine vat and then stomping on them. Naturally, the clothes of those persons who “treadeth in the wine-vat” were soon stained with the grape juice and became the same color. When the Savior appears in the last days, His garments will be red “like him that treadeth in the wine-vat” (D&C 133:48), and “his voice shall be heard: I have trodden in the wine-press alone” (D&C 133:50).

Isaiah has pictured this great day when the Lord shall come with his garments, or apparel, red and glorious, to take vengence on the ungodly. (Isa. 64:106) This will be a day of mourning to the wicked, but a day of gladness to all who have kept his commandments. Do not let anyone think that this is merely figurative language, it is literal, and as surely as we live that day of wrath will come when the cup of iniquity is full. We have received a great many warnings. The great day of the Millennium will come in; the wicked will be consumed and peace and righteousness will dwell upon all the face of the earth for one thousand years.”

(Church History of Modern Revelation, pp. 91-92; Joseph Fielding Smith; 1940.)