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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1941

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TEMPLES, 1941.

1941:  Mar.:  New regulations regarding temple recommends.

“Ward lists having been discarded, admission to temples of the Church will be by individual recommend only, a recommend which will have to be issued twice yearly, with expirations for the current year falling on July 1, 1941 and January 1, 1942.  Recommends are made out in triplicate, one to be kept by the local authority, one to be mailed by the stake president to the temple concerned, and one to be taken by the applicant as his identification.

Under the system of careful inquiry into the worthiness of the applicant, it is necessary that anyone desiring to visit a temple shall make application to his bishop at least ten days before it is planned to use the recommend.  Formalities involving both the bishop and the stake president, and the transmittal by mail of the copy to be sent to the temple require at least that much time.  No one can be admitted unless the recommend has been received at the temple.”  (“The Church Moves On,” IE 44(3):155, Mar., 1941)

4 Mar.:  Promotion of temple work.


Letter 10 

March 4, 1941

To Stake Chairmen:

In our circular letter to stake presidents, which was dated Aug. 29, 1940, outlining the revised organization and functions of stake and ward temple and genealogical committees, these paragraphs occur:

Promotion of Temple Work.  Thus the encouragement of attendance at the temple and the organization of stake and ward group visits becomes the major responsibility of stake and ward genealogical officers.  All appointments for official baptism, endowment or sealing excursions from the stake should utilize every established organization and every legitimate opportunity to have effective announcements of such appoints given, and to stimulate and inspire worthy Church members to participate.

Duties of the Stake Chairman.  The stake chairman should exercise general supervision and encouragement of temple attendance in the stake, and should have direct responsibility for planning successful programs to be presented in ward sacrament meetings on the fifth Sunday of any month, conforming strictly to the purpose of such sacrament meetings, and arranging for the outlined program for the annual Genealogical Sunday to be given in every ward of the stake in September.

Reports from various temples indicate a regrettable falling off in temple attendance.  Particularly do sufficient names appear to be lacking for baptismal appointments.  We must do all in our power to correct this situation.  

It is inevitable that, due to the war, many families deriving from Germany, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, and France, should be cut off from their source of supply of names for temple work.  Fortunate are the families who wisely had a search made of available sources in these countries before the crash came.

In England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, and Finland, opportunities for research are still open.  Particularly in Great Britain do the parish ministers display an eagerness to help, out of appreciation of the assistance our country has been able to render them.  None of us knows how long this favorable situation may continue.

For those families whose ancestors resided for generations in America, there are many more records available for genealogical searching than ever before.  These families can have no legitimate excuse for not being amply supplied with names for temple work.

We emphatically urge our stake and ward committees to do all in their power to increase temple work.  Your efforts may develop along several definite lines.

1. Encourage more people to live worthy to obtain recommends to go to the temple.

2. Stimulate worthy members to attend the temple regularly, at appointed times where possible.  This may be done through the medium of fifth Sunday programs, announcements in genealogical training and Gospel doctrine classes in the Sunday School and in the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums.

3. Organize regular stake and ward temple appointments for endowment and sealing, also class and quorum visits to the temple such as those of groups from the Elders, Seventies, High Priests, Gospel Doctrine Class, Genealogical Training Class, Relief Society, ward officers and teachers, etc.  Careful attention to details of proper announcement, preparatory organization and provision for transportation will add greatly to the success of these appointments.

4. Plan for regular baptismal appointments from your stake, advocating that the children serving as proxies bring, wherever possible, their own names with them.

5. Organize regular library visits and research excursions if you are within reasonable access to a genealogical library.  Be sure to arrange an appointment at the library beforehand; have members bring their own pedigree charts with them; and select those of the group most experienced in research to serve as coaches to guide the others in their efforts.

6. Foster more vigorously than ever before the formation of family organizations, so that units of a large family may pool their resources and work in full cooperation in obtaining ancestral records and names to keep all busy in temple service.

Sincerely your brethren,

Genealogical Society of Utah.

Joseph Fielding Smith, President.

Archibald F. Bennett, Secretary.”

(“Genealogy,” IE 44(4):237, Apr., 1941)

Aug.:  On going to the temple–Heber J. Grant.

“To my mind, one of the great privileges that we as Latter-day Saints enjoy is that of doing temple work for those of our ancestors who have died without a knowledge of the Gospel.  Perhaps no man among the officials of the Church ever did more work for the dead than did President Wilford Woodruff.  He had work done for thousands of people and spent many, many months of his life in St. George, when that temple was first completed, working with his friends and relatives, setting a very remarkable and wonderful example of diligence in this regard.

Nor do I think I have ever known a man who was more interested in temple work or who was more convinced of the benefits that accrue to us through having had revealed to us the privileges and opportunities of this work, than was my father-in-law, the late President Daniel H. Wells.  Daniel H. Wells had such an admiration for his ancestors and was so much attached to them that in the days of Nauvoo he concluded he did not care to join the Church.  He thought he would prefer to be with his parents and his relatives and friends who had heard nothing of the Gospel.  And then, when information came to him through the Prophet Joseph concerning salvation for the dead, this glorious truth brought that man into the Church at the very time when our people were being persecuted and driven from Nauvoo.  He aligned himself with the Latter-day Saints in the midst of their greatest troubles and difficulties, and it was the restoration to the earth again of the privilege and the right to perform temple work and the knowledge of how to do it, that brought this about.

I am thoroughly convinced that we can do nearly anything within the bounds of reason that we want to do.  I believe that genius is, as has been stated by someone, ‘an infinite capacity for taking pains.’  I believe that if a person has a desire to do temple work he can find a way to do it.  The important thing is the desire.  A young man can find hours and hours and hours, outside of his work, to spend with his best girl before he gets married.  He doesn’t have any trouble whatever in finding the time to spend evening after evening with her.

If we have a desire to do a thing, we can generally find the time to do it.  I made up my mind several years ago that I would like to go to the temple once a week when I was in Salt Lake City, although I had so much work to do that quite frequently I got out of bed at 4:30 in the morning and talked to the dictaphone–I have dictated many times more letters before going to my office at 8:30 than any stenographer can write in one day.  I had felt for years that I did not have the time to go to the temple, but finally I got the desire to go, and from that time on I had no difficulty in finding the time to go once a week.  Occasionally I went twice a week, and it so happens that one week I went all four nights that the temple was open.

For some years, on an average of from twelve to more than twenty of my friends and relatives went through the temple once a week, representing the Grant family.  For many years I have maintained four or five people going through the temple al the time at my expense.  I have in my employ a sister gathering genealogical information.  One year I expended in the neighborhood of $200.00 a month during the entire year for genealogical research work pertaining to the families to which I belong in direct descent and through marriage.

There is nothing like example.  I like to encourage people to do their duty and to have a mind to do something, and if they have the mind and the desire, I am convinced they can do almost anything they want to within the bounds of reason.

This genealogical work, to me, is simply marvelous.  It is wonderful how those of us who take any interest in it have the way prepared.  It seems miraculous the way my wife has been able in the past to gather genealogical information regarding her forefathers.  It is little less than marvelous the way books and other information have come into our possession.  When we got right up against a stone wall, in some way there has been a hole made through that wall so that we could crawl through and get on the other side, figuratively speaking, and find something that was of value.

I believe that if I could find the time to go to the temple and do temple work once a week, there is hardly a man in the entire Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but what can find the same time if he wishes to plan his work accordingly; the trouble with so many people is they do not have the desire.  (I am speaking of people who live where there is a temple.)  If you get it into your heart and soul that this is one of the most important things you as Latter-day Saints can do, you will find a way to do it.”  (Heber J. Grant, IE 44(8):459, Aug., 1941)

23 Aug.:  Concerning temple recommends.

“On July 1, 1941, all temple recommends expired, and it is now necessary to issue new ones.  As we indicated when we sent out the new form of temple recommends at the beginning of the year, the issuing of temple recommends is not a perfunctory matter.  Recommends are to be given only to those who are worthy to go through the temple, and the worthiness of the individual is to be attested to by the individual’s own examination, which is on the back of the temple recommend, plus what the bishop or president of stake, or president of mission or president of branch, may know about the applicant.

We refer you, with a request that it be carefully reread, to the material on pages 129-134, inclusive, of The Handbook of Instructions, and to the letter sent out over our signatures under date of January 6, 1941.

Our attention has been called by some temple presidents to the fact that altogether too many recommends that have come to the temples show that the individual who received the recommend did not keep the Word of Wisdom, nor pay a full tithing, and in some cases none, or the applicant was not otherwise living a life which is consistent with that required of those entitled to do work in the temple.

We call attention to Question No. 6 of the ‘Statement to be filled in by the Applicant,’ which reads:

Will you earnestly strive to do your duty to the Church, to attend your Sacrament, Priesthood, and other meetings, to obey the rules, laws, and commandments of the Gospel?

This situation will be particularly applicable to those who obtained recommends at the beginning of the year, and who were not then observing the laws and commandments.  In this connection we refer you to the second full paragraph on page 130 of The Handbook of Instructions, under the headline, ‘Applicant’s Statement.’

We repeat again our statement made in the letter of January 6, referred to above, in which we said:

The performance of work in the temple is one of the highest privileges and prerogatives which belong to members of the Church.  Only the worthy are entitled to the privilege of going to the temple.

We expect presidents of stakes, bishops of wards, presidents of missions, and presidents of branches who have issued recommends to persons who were not at the time fully worthy to receive them, but who obtained them on the promise that they would obey the laws and commandments of the Lord, to check very carefully every such person to see that they are now living in a way that makes them worthy to have a temple recommend.

In every case, no matter what the previous record shows, every applicant should be considered as if the request he now makes were the first request he had ever made.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, 23 Aug., 1941; IE 44(10):616, Oct., 1941)

16 Sep.:  Magnitude of Heber J. Grant’s temple work.

“In all the Church there is no other individual who has succeeded in tracing so many of his ancestral lines back to ancient times as has President Grant.  It has been most remarkable how records have come to light as the search for his progenitors continued unremittingly.

An effort has also been made to follow down descendants on all these various lines.  Therefore practically all temple work done by President Grant for his family has been for known relatives who are connected up in lineal pedigrees.  It is probably that no other family in the Church has accomplished so much in connected genealogical research and in the total of temple ordinances administered.”  (Archibald F. Bennett, secretary of Genealogical Society of Utah, letter dated 16 Sep., 1941; in IE 44(11):697, Nov., 1941)

25 Sep.:  McKay talk on the temple ceremony.

“‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to obersve all things whatsoever I have commanded yiou: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’  (Mt. 28:20)

Such was the commission given by the Savior to His Apostles just prior to the Savior’s return to heaven, following His resurrection.  Such is the admonition and authority He has given to you, my fellow workers, and I congratulate you this morning upon this calling and upon your acceptance of the privilege to preach the Gospel.

It is not only a privilege but a great responsibility to be commissioned as a missionary in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In that commission the word ‘teach’ is used and repeated.  You are teachers.  Very young men and young women to go out to show the world the philosophy of life, to teach them the proper way of living, but that is your calling.

I congratulate you upon being worthy to go through the House of the Lord.  Your presence here indicates that you have lived a pure life, each of you, that you are worthy to go into the presence of the Father.  Are you?

I have come over here this morning particularly because I have met so many young people who have been disappointed after they have gone through the House of the Lord.  They have been honest in that disappointment.  Some of them have shed tears as they have opened their hearts and expressed heart-felt sorrow that they did not see and hear and feel what they had hoped to see and hear and feel.

I have analyzed those confessions as I have listened to them, and I have come to the conclusion that in nearly every case it was the person’s fault.  He or she has failed to comprehend the significance of the message that is given in the Temple.  And so this preliminary meeting is held that we might, in a way, preview the ceremony and present, in a way, the significance of the ordinances given this day.

Now the only purpose, as I say, is that we might see more clearly, understand more thoroughly, the message of the Temple ceremony.  If we can do that, then our time here this morning will not have been spent in vain.

These young people to whom I refer have become absorbed in what I am going to call the ‘mechanics’ of the Temple, and while criticizing these, they have failed to get the Spiritual significance.

Every word, and nearly every act in life serves two purposes; every name denotes something, but it also connotes other things.  For example, when I say George Washington, the name designates or denotes a man of certain stature, rather stockily built, large, open, frank features.  You have seen his picture, and the name George Washington recalls to your mind that particular individual.  But of what else did you think when I named George Washington?  Why, the Revolutionary War; perhaps his attendance at the Constitutional Convention; some of you probably saw Valley Forge; others of you might have thought of his crossing the Delaware in the winter.  All of these things, though, are connoted.  ‘George Washington’ does not denote Valley Forge, nor the crossing of the Delaware.

Now note the change in your mind when I say ‘Abraham Lincoln.’  That denotes a tall, angular man, according to himself not very good looking; but what did you think of besides seeing that tall, lanky, backwoodsman?  The Civil War?  Perhaps some of you thought of the letter that he wrote to the mother who had lost her sons in the War.  Others thought of his monument in Washington, or of his speech at Gettysburg.  All these things are connoted by that name.

President Grant designates a man of certain stature and mien.  But what is connoted?  I think in most of your minds, honest.  Some of you perhaps thought of his recent recovery from illness, his fearlessness in teaching religion, etc.

Now let us apply this thought to the Temple ordinances.  Each act presented today will denote certain things; there will be performances, little acts and ceremonies in which you may critically center your thoughts, but each one also connotes something glorious.  Let us consider these as realities and also as symbols.

After the preliminaries, you will be asked to go into a room where you will be washed.  Now that act of washing in itself will be insignificant.  There may be some things associated with it which you might criticize, and in your heart there will be a tendency to criticize.  But what is the significance of it?  Cleanliness.  And the message is this: ‘Cleanliness is next go Godliness’; not just cleanliness of body alone, but cleanliness of mind, and that cleanliness of mind should have preceded your entrance into this Temple by the eradication of every ill feeling, by the elimination of every vulgar thought.

That is what it means to be clean to enter the House of God.  And even as cleanliness of body, clean linen gives to man a sense of dignity, of purity, all through life.  Men who will not keep the Sabbath Day, who let their boys put on their old work clothes on Sunday and go out and work, have not a sense of the value of cleanliness upon the character of their boys.  The consciousness of clean linen is, in and of itself, a source of moral strength, second only to that of a clean conscience.  Some of our young people fail to see the significance of that little simple ceremony.

And then you listen to why you are washed.  The blessing that will come to your eyesight, to your mind, to your hearing: all based upon the cleanliness of the thought and the cleanliness of your acts and your deeds.

The next little simple ceremony, I will call it little and simple because you might in your heart so consider it, is the Anointing.  That, too, is performed with acts which may be done in a way that will merit criticism.  I am not saying that they do not merit it if you have criticism in your heart.  But let your spiritual eyes see the significance of that anointing, and then you will realize what it means to be initiated into the House of God and all its mysteries, to have in your heart as young people the spirit of emulation, the realization that anything which any other man or any other woman has accomplished, you may, through the help of God, also accomplish.  You know what that means to the human soul!  If you do not, then listen to what a young girl said down here in one of our institutions recently.  Discouraged, down-hearted, and despondent, she said to her attendant: ‘Leave me alone.  Nobody cares for me.’

Emulation dead.  No place in the world for her, so she thought.  That is the depth to which a person through discouragement may fall, and many have so fallen.

Not so with one who is anointed to become a king and priest of the Most High; a queen and priestess in the realms of God.  Now that is what it means.  I do not know how long it will take you or me to achieve that, but we are anointed that we may become such.  Do not shut your eyes to the glories and open them to the mechanics, that seem so simple and are performed so awkwardly sometimes.

The prophet said: ‘What is man that thou are mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.’

With these preparations we then enter upon a presentation of the truest philosophy of life ever given to man.  What did the Savior say to His Apostles?  ‘Teach them all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’

You are going out to teach people the true philosophy of life, the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation.  The world is longing for it.

Now in a few short hours, here, today, will be presented to you in symbolic form that philosophy, that upward climb into the presence of God.  I have used the word ‘mechanics,’ now I am going to use the word ‘symbolism.’  These ordinances will be presented in an outward way.  Men with ordinary expressions, with ordinary features, in simple dramatic form, will present this philosophy.  You may sit in your seat and criticize the man or the woman, if you wish; you may look at his dress and count the buttons; you may look at her dress and criticize.  If you do, I am sorry for you.  Or you may sit there and see through the symbolism the glory which God has given to you.

For example: You will first be asked if you are willing to obey the law of Eloheim; are you willing to take upon yourself the responsibility of making God the center of your lives?  That is what it means.  Then you will be asked if you will obey the law of sacrifice, and you will covenant to do it.  Well, now, these are just simple words, aren’t they.  But what does it mean to obey the law of sacrifice?  Nature’s law demands us to do everything with self in view.  The first law of mortal life–self-preservation, selfishness–would claim the most lucious fruit, the most tender meat, the softest down on which to lie.

I am taking you back to the Garden of Eden, when man entered into mortality; the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Good and Evil, and everything which man desired was placed before him.  And selfishness, the law of nature, would say, ‘I want the best; that is mine.’  But God said:

Take of the firstlings of the flock and offer a sacrifice unto me.

That is the story.  The best shall be given to God; the next you may have.  God is the Center.

Here, in your presence, I am going to thank my earthly father for the lesson he gave to two boys in a hayfield, in that connection.  We had driven out to the field to get the tenth load of hay, and we drove over to a part of the meadow where we had last loaded the ninth, where wire-grass and slough grass were abundant, and we started to load the hay, but Father called out: ‘No, boys, drive over on the higher ground.’  There was Timothy and red-top there.  But one of the boys (and it was I) called back: ‘No, let us take the hay as it comes.’

‘No, David, that is the tenth load, and the best is none too good for God.’

That is the best sermon on the law of tithing I ever heard in my life, and it touches, I found later in life, this very principle of the law of sacrifice.  You cannot develop a character without obeying the law.  Temptation is going to come to you in the Mission Field.  You sacrifice your appetites, you sacrifice your passions for the glory of God, and you will have the blessing of character and spirituality.  That is a fundamental truth.

. . . [quotes a poem]

You can go through the movements of that law of sacrifice and see nothing but mechanics if you will, but if you do you will be disappointed.  But you can sit there and commune with the Spirit and receive a message that ‘here is a law that will help me to see spiritually through my entire life.’

In the presentation of the Law of the Gospel, ‘the power of God unto salvation,’ you will be told where to find these laws specifically, which you are expected to obey–in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price; the Bible and the Book of Mormon particularly, and these others are equally important.  God does not leave you without a guide.  Too many of our young people throw them aside.  If you are to teach, you are to study also, and today you covenant that that is what you are going to do.  You cannot waste your time in the field looking after pleasure and the sights, or lounging around headquarters.  You are studying to teach men the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

With these steps we rise to one of the most significant in all the world.  There will be presented to you the law of chastity, and you are going to hold up your right hand that you will obey it.  What is that law of chastity which will be given to you?

I am going to tell you young people now, particularly you who have heard professors say something else, that obedience to that law of chastity in this world is the source of virile manhood, and you keep it with your life, young man!  It is the crown of beautiful womanhood, and you should treasure it as you treasure your life, young woman.  It is the foundation of the happy, contented home.  Divorce proceedings bear witness to the fatal result of the violation of that law.  It is the chief contributing factor to the strength and perpetuity of the race.  That is part of the philosophy of life to be presented in the House of God this day.  And if you violate it, then you will bring sorrow upon your heads.  Poignantly a young man knows that fact today, who sat in this building four years ago and listened to some such admonition as I am giving you this morning.

If in our souls we can accept these laws, we are then readyi, spiritually prepared, to enter the presence of God, provided we can obey the law of consecration, the next step.

The law of consecration–‘my time, my talents, and all that I possess, are place upon the altar for the advancement of the kingdom of God,’ and when men can attain to that spiritual achievement, they can merit what Christ said to Zaccaheus, a money-maker, a man who I think sometimes had dealt dishonestly with his fellowmen.  He was a publican, a tax-collecter.  One day the Lord said unto him: ‘Zacchaeus, make hast, and come down, (he was in a sycamore tree looking at the crowd in Jerico) come down; for today I must abide at thy house.’

I do not know what happened at that dinner table.  Nobody knows, except by inference, but we do know that Zacchaeus’ heart was touched, and he recognized Jesus as a man of God, and when that testimony, even that glimmer of a testimony entered his heart, he said:

Behold, Lord, the half of my goods–(I wish he had said ‘all,’ but he did not)–I give to the poor.

That was a wonderful thing for a rich man to say–‘take half of what I have.’  ‘And if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.’  And Jesus said unto him: ‘This day is salvation come to this house.’

And when you and I can stand at a certain place in the House of God and say conscientiously and truly, ‘I will consecrate my life, my time, my talents to the advancement of the Kingdom of God,’ we are prepared through inspiration to enter into His presence.

And that is what you do at the veil, symbolically, when the veil is drawn asunder and you enter into the Celestial Room.

There, brethren and sisters, I have just briefly previewed the ordinances in the Temple of God.  You will make covenants.  There are certain things which belong to the Priesthood, signs and tokens that belong to the Priesthood, which will emphasize the importance of the covenants you make.

Finally, in conclusion I am going to say: Are you willing to keep your word?  Will you keep your promise made this day?  Are you a man, or a woman of honor?  Will you keep your promise?  There are men in the world who are not given the responsibility which you have this morning, who prize their word of honor more than they prize their signed note.

One day in the Parliament of England, in the presence of a gentleman, stood two men who had lent him money.  To the first, this gentleman had given his note; to the second he had given but his promise.  When these two men learned that this gentleman had received his income, they came for their payment.  The man who had the note was surprised when his lordship said to the second: ‘As I cannot pay both at the same time, I will pay you first.’  And the holder of the note to whom the note had been given protested, saying: ‘Your lordship, I lent you that money first, I should be paid first.’  His lordship replied: ‘You have my signed note and promise that I will pay you.  This man has only my promise, my word of honor.  I will redeem my honor first.’

At that, the first lender took the note, tore it up, threw the shreds into the waste basket, and said: ‘There, your lordship, I have but your word of honor.’

‘In that event, you shall be paid first.’

That is how a gentleman esteemed his promise, his word.

Today you make promises with uplifted hand, and I pray God that you will have power to keep them.  Go through the House of God today seeing the spiritual significance of the ordinacnes, that you may not come out disappointed, but filled with a desire and determination to walk uprightly before God, and thus merit His divine inspirationk, not only while you are on your mission where you will need it–oh, how you will need it–but all through life when you come back to make a success of your vocation in your own life–that you may ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, that all these things may be added to you.’

I pray that this, my dear fellow workers, brethren and sisters, will be your happy lot, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

(David O. McKay, 25 Sep., 1941; address delivered at the Salt Lake Temple Annex, Thursday, 25 Sep., 1941, at 8:30 a.m., to outgoing missionaries.  Typescript in LDS Archives [restricted] and University of Utah Library [unrestricted])

Nov.:  Temple marriage vs. temple sealing.

“I went to St. George to be married because the temple there had been completed, and the old Endowment House had been closed.  Marriages were being performed by the presidents of stakes and bishops, with the understanding that the young people would later, of course, go to the St. George Temple and be sealed.  I said: ‘I don’t want any of this being sealed later on.  I want to be married properly to start out with.’

Some of my friends tried to persuade me to be married by the bishop and then wait for the completion of the Salt Lake Temple to be sealed to your mother.  I have always rejoiced tht I did not follow their advice, because she died before the temple was dedicated.

. . . .

I have never regretted taking the long trip to St. George to be married, and I shed tears of gratitude years later when the members of the Young Women’s M.I.A. Board were strongly urging our young people to go to the temple to be married, and I heard you express your gratitude that you had been born under the seal of the covenant.  We always get our reward sooner or later when we do our duty in the Church.  I am sure that my going to St. George to be married in the temple has had a strong effect for good upon my children.”  (Heber J. Grant to Rachel Grant Taylor, n.d., in IE 44(11):656-657, Nov., 1941)

2 Nov.:  Washing of feet, anointing by wife.

Received “the ordinance of washing of my feet, anointing and blessing” from his wife, Alice.  (George F. Richards diary, 2 Nov., 1941)

11 Dec.:  New plan for submitting names.

“December 11, 1941.

Dear Stake Chairman:

As foreshadowed in our letter of November 3, 1941, it can now be officially announced that the new plan of submitting names for temple work will go into effect January 1, 1942.

After that date all names to be submitted for baptism and endowment are to be copied (preferably typed) on the revised form of family group record. . . . This group record should be brought or mailed to The Index Office, 80 North Main, Salt Lake City, Utah.  There it will be censored to see if correctly made out with adequate identification, exact source of information, name of heir, name and address of patron, and other facts called for on the sheet.

If approved by the censor department, this record sheet will be checked at the temple index bureau to determine if any ordinance of baptism or endowment has been previously administered for any person named on the record.  If it is discovered, for example, that the husband and two of the children–those named on lines 2 and 5–are already baptized and endowed, the dates of these ordinances with the name of the heir and the relationship of this heir to the dead will be copied in the spaces provided opposite these names.  This is so the patron may record these dates in his own family record.

The names of those found to be not endowed will be approved for ordinance work.  The Genealogical Society will then make a typewritten copy in duplicate of this group sheet you have sent, one to serve as a temple copy, the other as the archives copy; and the sheet sent in by the patron, with the addition of the ordinance dates and names of heirs inserted, as mentioned above, will be returned to him.

From the typewritten copy we have made, index cards will then be typed in duplicate.  The carbon copies will be filed in the index bureau to prevent any other person receiving approval to do ordinance work for these same individuals.  The originals will be placed in envelopes bearing the name of the heir, and the name and address of the patron or person who submitted the names.  These envelopes will be sent to whichever temple the patron may designate, and held in readiness for baptism and endowment.  Both ordinances will be done from the card.

These cards will be photographed at the temple for their temple record after the baptism ordinance, and again after the endowment; then they will be returned to the Genealogical Society of Utah.  There dates of baptism and endowment will be entered on the two copies of the group sheet which has been typed.  Then these original index cards will be filed in the Index Bureau, replacing the duplicates there, which have now served their purpose of preventing duplication.

When a sufficient number of family group records for one patron are ready for sealing, he will be notified by the Genealogical Society and requested to inform them when and at what temple he will do the sealings, and whether he will provide his own proxies for the sealings.  The society will then send the temple copies of these group records, which are ruled so as to be suitable for sealing, directly to the temple so designated.  There the names of proxies will be inserted.  Following the sealing each group record, bearing now the date of sealing, names of officiator, witnesses and proxies, will be photographed; and then returned to the Genealogical Society.  There the sealing date will be recorded on the archives copy.  The temple copy will finally be returned to the patron, and he may preserve this complete record, giving dates of baptism, endowment and sealing, as part of his own family record. . . .

Sincerely your brother, 

Joseph Fielding Smith,

Church Historian and Recorder.”

(“Genealogy,” IE 45(1):45, Jan., 1942)