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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1942

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1942.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1942.

1942:  6 Mar.:  Temple excursions cancelled due to War.

“March 6, 1942

Dear Stake Chairman:

Further recent announcements from the First Presidency make it clear that we must all cooperate to curtail traveling and minimize expenditures in connection with temple excursions and stake supervision of ward genealogical activities.

To assist the people of the Church in conserving money and property used in transportation, the General Authorities recently recommended that auxiliary union meetings be discontinued and visiting by stake board members to the wards be greatly reduced.  Though this action leaves our stake committees without familiar and convenient facilities for doing their work, it nevertheless leaves them still with the following responsibilities:

1. to keep the stake committee fully organized and serving the wards efficiently

2. to meet regularly as a stake committee, though in most cases not oftener than once a month

3. to help the ward committees to keep fully organized and functioning efficiently; this to be done (a) by mail, (b) by telephone, (c) by occasional visit where necessary, and (d) by wise use of the public press.  Regarding visits the Presidency have said: ‘Visits by auxiliary stake presidencies and superintendencies to ward organizations should be made as circumstances may require.’

4. to keep informed about the needs or conditions of the ward organization through an efficient and regular system of report.  We ask that you call for a report from each ward quarterly, to be due on April 15, July 15, October 15, and January 15 of each year.  The forms for this report will be sent you later.

The presiding brethren have ruled against the organization of all temple excursions.  Whatever temple work  is done should be on an individual basis, persons being encouraged to attend the temple as they can.  The General Authorities wish temple work to continue undiminished, as far as this can be done under present altered conditions.

Some stakes have led out in promoting proxy temple work, encouraging those living at a distance from temples to do as much proxy work as possible in lieu of personal attendance.  Considerable success has already attended such an appeal in several stakes, particularly in California.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, President, Genealogical Society of Utah, 6 Mar., 1942; IE 45(4):237, Apr., 1942)

4 Apr.:  Elevator in SL Temple.

“I do not speak of this often, I do not like to, but I am getting to the age where stairs are a bit troublesome.  Now there may be some of you also to whom climbing stairs is a little difficult and you would not do it just out of choice.  To those of you who are like myself, I would say when you get inside the west door of the Temple if you will turn immediately to your left you will come to an elevator.  A man will be on the elevator who will take you up to the fifth floor.”  (J. Reuben Clark, 4 Apr., 1942; CR Apr., 1942, p. 55)

15 Apr.:  More latitude in temple excursions.

“Further latitude has been officially granted in the organization of temple excursions, and we have pleasure in transmitting these instructions to you promptly.  A recent letter from the First Presidency gives this additional clarification of previous instructions:

In those instructions there was no intention of having the temple presidency discontinue the practice of assigning to various stakes in the temple district particular dates upon which to do ordinance work, excepting only in stakes distant from the temple wherein attendance will be restricted because of the necessity of conserving automobile tires.

Even i these cases genealogical workers may come in groups either (1) by train, or, (2) by properly licensed and insured public carriers.

It has come to our attention that in at least one instance a very substantial saving can be made for each person if the party come by bus instead of train.  The route is also more direct by bus and more convenient.  When a group travels by such conveyance, every precaution should be taken to see (1) that the bus is a properly licensed public carrier, (2) that the driver is competent, temperate, and in every way trustworthy, and (3) that he and the vehicle are properly insured against accident.

Excursions to temples outside of districts have been discontinued.

Within these prescribed limitations we feel there is ample opportunity to continue temple work at a high standard of attendance.  Please consider this as one of your chief assignments and emphasize to your stake and ward committees the need for their inviting, encouraging and helping all who can to go to the temple.

There is an acute shortage of names, particularly of females, in all the temples.  The remedy for this is more and continuous research.  For American, English and Scottish lines the sources are more abundant than ever and research opportunities were never brighter.  We trust you will exert the whole power of your organization to persuade your people to make use of the records the Lord has provided.  Temple work should not be permitted to languish.

Sincerely your brethren,

Genealogical Society of Utah

Joseph Fielding Smith, President

Archibald F. Bennett, Secretary.”

(“Genealogy,” IE 45(5):270, May, 1942)

Jul.:  Change in expiration date of temple recommends.

As a matter of Church procedure, the dates of expiration of temple recommends were changed so that Bishops would not have interviews for temple recommends and tithing settlement both falling the last week in December.  (First Presidency Circular Letter, Jul., 1942.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 6:168; Clark’s resume of the letter.)

Aug.:  Is it possible to progress to another Kingdom?


“The answer to this perennial question is, No.

In the final judgment, all the earth children of the Lord will be assigned places in one or the other of the three grand divisions or degrees of salvation, known to us from modern revelation as the three glories.  Each assignment will depend upon the use the candidate has made of the opportunities placed before him on earth and elsewhere.  ‘For they shall be judged according to their works.’  By his own acts each person has shown his fitness to participate in the activities of this or that glory.  It would be useless to place him higher than his capabilities would permit, and unfair to place him lower.  If placed too high, he would not be competent or happy there, nor could he be content if placed too low.  The degree of salvation of necessity corresponds, under the merciful justice of the Lord, with the demonstrated worthiness, capacity, and capability of each individual.  The final judgment is final.

Within each glory, however, there may be advancement.  The law of progress may be utilized by every intelligence in the universe.  Those who inherit the telestial, terrestrial, or celestial glories may progress, and progress eternally.  But, let it ever be remembered that the power to progress is greatest in the celestial glory, and is decreasingly smaller in the lower glories.  There can be no talk of those in the lower glories overtaking those in the highest, any more than an automobile traveling at the rate of twenty-five miles an hour can overtake one moving at the rate of fifty miles an hour.

They who inherit the celestial glory will dwell in the presence of the Father and the Son.  They are kings and priests.  From that glory issues the power of God, known to us as the Priesthood of the Lord.  In that glory certain conditions of joy belong which are absent in the other glories.  They who have inherited the lesser glories will receive a salvation so glorious as to be beyond the understanding of man–that has been revealed to us–but, ‘where God and Christ dwell they can not come, worlds without end.’  (D&C 76:112)

Once the final judgment has been uttered and our place assigned, we remain there, though we may progress forever, and everlastingly increase in power.  Meanwhile, in all such matters, and with respect to all such questions, we can safely rest ourselves upon the mercy and justice of the Lord.  Our only concern need be so to live as to win a place in the celestial glory.”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations,” IE 45(8):513, Aug., 1942)

Sep.:  New expiration date on temple recommends.

“Temple recommends issued to cover the period from January 1 to June 30, 1942, will be extended to run through September 30, 1942, it was announced by the First Presidency on July 2.

All recommends thereafter will expire on March 31, or September 30.  This action has been taken to relieve bishops and branch presidents of the burden of having to issue temple recommends on the first of the year when tithing and other records must be closed.”  (IE 45(9):573, Sep., 1942)

Oct.:  Are all exalted who enter the Celestial Glory?


A person’s works, under the loving mercy of the Father, determine his final judgment, whether he shall inherit the celestial, terrestrial, or telestial glory.  The conditions for entering the celestial glory, the only one with which the Church is concerned, are set forth in soul-lifting words in section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  (See verses 50-70)  The conditions there enumerated are those which the Church has always taught men to accept and obey.

Within each glory, composed of innumerable beings, there appear to be several, perhaps many, degrees to fit the gradations of attainment or capacity among various groups.  It is somewhat like the practice of some universities.  All who have fulfilled the requirements are graduated with the same degree and are made members of the alumni association.  But, some receive upon their diploma added commendation according to the excellence of their work, ‘with honors,’ ‘with high honors,’ or ‘with highest honors.’  Or perhaps a better comparison–some have qualified, in addition to the general requirements for professional service, in one of the many activities of society.  So in the celestial glory, all faithful persons will receive some degree of exaltation, but not all full exaltation.  Only dimly do we understand conditions in the ‘other world.’

Joseph Smith the Prophet declared that ‘in the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees.’  Full exaltation means the attainment of the highest of these three degrees in the celestial glory.  (D&C 131:1)

The Prophet further explained that to inherit this highest degree, to be fully exalted, a man or a woman must be married for time and eternity, sealed to someone by the ‘Holy Spirit of Promise.’  (D&C 131:2-4; also 132:7)  Such people have fitted themselves to carry on the work of the Lord by providing the means of salvation for others, their own progeny.  They have eternal ‘increase’; they shall ‘continue’; they shall have no ‘end.’  They are like the gods.  They who are not so sealed remain ‘angels of God forever and ever.’  (D&C 132:17)

This does not mean that those who have not married on earth, through no fault of their own, may not attain exaltation.  For them the sealing ordinance may be performed vicariously; and then, if the work is accepted by them, they may receive all promised blessings following obedience to law.

The experiences of earth make this situation somewhat understandable.  There are members of the Church who have received the gospel, and who are in fellowship with the Saints but who do not use all of the opportunities of the gospel.  For example, they may not use their privilege to receive the temple endowment, or to be ordained to the Priesthood.  Though they may be active members of the Church, they have missed something that others have received, and must be classed accordingly.

Similarly, all who enter the celestial glory do not necessarily receive full exaltation therein.”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations,” IE 45(10):641, 671, Oct., 1942)

Oct.:  Exaltation for those dying before accountability.


The Lord, speaking to Joseph Smith the Prophet, declared that ‘little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten.’  (D&C 29:46)  He has further instructed his people that the law of the gospel does not become operative until children ‘begin to become accountable before me.’  (D&C 29:47)

The age of accountability has been set for normal persons at eight years of age.  (D&C 68:25)  At that age baptism should be performed.

Those who die before the age of accountability have their bodies.  If in their pre-existent state they have not made themselves unworthy, it is not thinkable that they will be deprived of any blessing held in reserve for the Saints of God.  They will be in the hands of the Lord, who is full of love and justice.  We may safely leave them there.”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations,” IE 45(10):671, Oct., 1942)

14 Oct.:  Interview with David H. Cannon, Jr.

“I am eighty-two years old tomorrow.  I am the only living person, so far as I know, who heard and saw what I am about to relate.  At the time of which we shall speak, I was a lad of 11 years, all-seeing and all-hearing, and drove a team hitched to a scraper.

President Brigham Young had written to Robert Gardner, president of the stake high council, in this letter he expressed a wish that a Temple be built in St. George.  Also, that Brother Gardner select a few leading brethren, and, as a group, visit sites where it might be best to build the Temple.  This they did, visiting spots each thought might be best.  They could not agree, and so informed President Young.

President Young, arriving later, somewhat impatiently chidded them, and at the same time asking them to get into their wagons, or whatever else they had, and with him find a location.

To the south they finally stopped.

‘But, Brother Young,’ protested the men, ‘this land is boggy.  After a storm and for several months of the year, no one can drive across the land with horses and wagons sinking way down.  There is no place to build a foundation.’

‘We will make a foundation,’ said President Young.

Later on, while plowing and scraping where the foundation was to be, my horse’s leg broke through the ground into a spring of water.  The brethren then wanted to move the foundation line 12 feet to the south, so that the spring of water would be on the outside of the temple.

‘Not so,’ replied President Young.  ‘We will wall it up and leave it here for some future use.  But we cannot move the foundation.  This spot was dedicated by the Nephites.  They could not build it (the Temple) but we can and will build it for them.’

To this very day the water from that very spring is running through a drain properly built.

I make this statement of my own free will and choice, and without any fear or misgiving.”  (David Henry Cannon, Jr., 14 Oct., 1942.  Bergera notes)

30 Oct.:  Garments and the military.

“Primarily the wearing of the garment is an individual responsibility.  It is associated with sacred obligations entered into by the wearer with the Lord in the temple; consequently, the conscience of the wearer must guide when circumstances seem to justify a modification of these obligations.  The sacredness of the garment should be ever present and uppermost in the wearer’s mind.

One way to protect this sacredness is not to expose it to the view of scoffers, and where conditions arise making such exposure unavoidable, it would seem best reverently to lay aside the garment and then put it on again when such conditions pass.  The First Presidency has felt that this policy might be followed by soldiers during their enlistment.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, 30 Oct., 1942.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 6:186)

10 Dec.:  Update on 2nd anointings. 

“I attended regular Thu. meetings.  At the 10:-A.M. meeting of the Presidency, the Twelve and the Patriarch held in the Temple, the matter of allowing the administration of second blessings was considered.  I brought up the subject at our last Quarterly meeting of the Twelve held in the Temple Sept. 29th last.  I made quite an extended talk on the subject at that time at the conclusion of which it was decided by vote to present the question to the Council of the First Presidency, the Twelve and the Patriarch.  To-day all were present except Geo. Albert Smith, Richard R. Lyman and Sylvester Q. Cannon and I suggested to Pres. Clawson that he bring the question forward, which he did.  I had a chance to explain, and it was decided that the four members of the Council, viz. J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Albert E. Bowen, Harold B. Lee and the Patriarch Jos. F. Smith should be privileged to receive theirs and others whom the members of this council may recommend and the Council sustain.  Pres. Grant appointed me to administer these blessings.  I suggested that Jos. Fielding Smith be appointed to assist me in this work.  We are to make the appointment, i.e. Jos. Fielding and I, for the brethren.

I have anxiously looked forward to this action.

The records show that there have been 32,495 such blessings administered in the Church and that during the last 12 years there have been but 8 administrations.  Thirteen of the 32 General Authorities have not had theirs and at least two others who have had them with their first wives have later wives not yet anointed to their husbands.”  (George F. Richards diary, 10 Dec., 1942, Ms/f/600/#4/CHO.  Bergera collection.)

24 Dec.:  Authorization for additional 2nd anointings.

“I obtained permission of Pres. Grant to see him at his home.  I found him in bed and his condition seemed worse than I had expected to find.  I gave him a blessing, and recommended that he issue recommends to all the General Authorities and their wives who have not received their second blesings and give it them for Christmas which he approved and authorized also approved Stephen L. Chipman & Wife whom I recommended.  I reported to Joseph Anderson, who had recommends made.  These I took to the President and he signed them.  I returned the signed recommends to Joseph Anderson, the President’s Secretary, for distribution.  I feel that this day’s accomplishments has [sic] been inspired and is a wonderful accomplishment.  May the Lord be praised for ever.

This is one of the most happy days of my life.  I am sure it will endure over Christmas.”  (George F. Richards diary, 24 Dec., 1942. Ms/f/600/#4/CHO.  Bergera collection.)

31 Dec.:  2 men designated to perform 2nd anointings.

“This has been a wonderful year for me and my family. . . . I have also been instrumental in renewing the former practice in the Church of administering Second Anointings to faithful members, the practice having gone practically into disuse, only eight such blessings having been administered in the past twelve years.  Up to twelve years ago there had been administered in the Church thirty-two thousand plus such blessings.  The day before Christmas I was instrumental in getting Pres. Grant to sign recommends for thirteen of the general authorities and their wives and the wives of two others of the Council to their husbands; also a recommend for Stephen L. Chipman and wife, he having had his previously.  I am sure that the Lord has inspired what I have been able to do along these lines.  Pres. Grant, in our council meeting of a few weeks ago appointed me to administer these blessings and at my request appointed Elder Jos. Fielding Smith to assist me.  We are the only ones in the Church having this authority by appointment.”  (George F. Richards diary, 31 Dec., 1942. Ms/f/600/#4/CHO.  Bergera collection.)