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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1944

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1944.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1944.

1944:  Mar.:  High priests urged to do temple work.


Check the methods being utilized in your stake:

1. Priesthood quorums have pledged themselves to do a specific number of names.

2. Wards or stakes remote from temples are sending one or more worthy brethren to a temple and paying their expenses while they do the quota for their ward or stake.

3. Stake and ward leaders are going with the priesthood members to the temple in personal attendance at regular intervals.

4. Priesthood quorums have sent funds to the temple asking that proxies be secured to do their share of the work.

5. Church service committees of the quorums are working in close cooperation with ward and stake genealogical committees.

6. The stake presidency, the stake Melchizedek priesthood committee and the stake genealogical committee meet once a month to work out details.

7. Church service committee members are visiting quorum members at their homes.

8. Each quorum member is made responsible for the endowment of so many males.

9. A copy of the letter from the first presidency sent each person holding the Melchizedek priesthood.

10. The Melchizedek priesthood committee meets with all church service committees and formulates plans to be put in operation.

11. Where transportation facilities are available regular stake and priesthood excursions are being arranged.

12. High priests and others of advanced years are going to temples to remain there for some months doing temple work.

What other devices are being carried out in your stake?”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 47(3):168, Mar., 1944)

Mar.:  Letter to Stake Presidents concerning Temple.

“Dear President:

On September 13, 1943, the first presidency called upon Melchizedek priesthood quorums to assume as a quorum project the responsibility of endowment of many thousands of males whose names had accumulated in the temples.

Gratifying progress has been made in the labor.  Much yet remains to be accomplished.  Many quorums have organized enthusiastically to accomplish their assignment.  Some have pledged themselves to do a certain number of endowments through personal attendance of quorum members at the temple.  Others, remote from temples, have sent several of their worthy quorum members, paying the expenses while these brethren do the endowment quota of their quorum.  Other distant quorums have sent funds to the temple asking that proxies be secured to do their share of the work.

Reports indicate that stake presidencies, stake Melchizedek priesthood committees and stake genealogical committees are meeting frequently to perfect plans.  Some church service committee members are visiting quorum members in their homes, reading to them the message of the first presidency, inviting them to participate in the program.

The church service committee should lead out in keeping interest alive in this commendable activity, and, where feasible, organizing quorum temple excursions.

The goal of endowing these 100,000 males should be achieved this year, and can be by the united effort of all.  This will not only bring great personal satisfaction to all who assist, and blessings to the dead, but will bring spiritual enrichment to the quorum itself.

We request that, as stake chairman of Melchizedek priesthood work, you immediately ascertain to what extent the quorums of your stake are participating in this program.  Obtain a report from each on the number of endowments already performed by members, and take steps to give further stimulus to this work.

If some are falling down, meet with quorum presidencies and help them plan their part in this program.  See that they get started right.  If the quorums are going ahead successfully, encourage them to continue so.

It is a program which must not fail and we call upon you to use your best efforts to see that it succeeds.

Sincerely yours,

Joseph Fielding Smith, 

Chairman, Church Melchizedek Committee.”  

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 47(3):177, Mar., 1944)

1 Mar.:  Events surrounding choice of Alberta temple site.

“There is an interesting event in connection with this Temple.  When the land was dedicated, in 1888, by the Apostles Francis M. Lyman and John W. Taylor, the latter, in his prayer dedicating the Tabernacle site, suddenly stopped, and said solemnly:

‘I now speak by the power of prophecy, and say that upon this very spot shall be erected a Temple to the name of Israel’s God, and nations shall come from far and near and praise His high and holy name.’

Twenty-five years later, in 1913, when President Joseph F. Smith was shown four pictures of possible sites for the Temple, he ‘lightly touched’ one of them, and said, ‘I feel strongly impressed that this is the one.’  It was ‘the very spot’ on which Elder Taylor had stood when he dedicated the land!”  (John Henry Evans, Instructor 79(3):105, 1 Mar., 1944)

7 Apr.:  Our people are not taking to temple work.

“Notwithstanding these solemn admonitions by the presidents of the Church, our people have not taken very much to temple work.  I picked up an old report, 1940, I think it was, which showed that three hundred eleven thousand members had taken out their endowments since the first endowments were given.  The Church now has, as you heard today, nine hundred thirty-seven thousand people in it–nearly a million–and less than one third of the membership who now live have taken out their own endowments since the beginning of the Church; and yet we have temples built and building.  They used to have seeven sessions running in the Salt Lake Temple; now they have four, and many of them are not very crowded [what about the effect of the War?]  Once in a while you will find a crowded session.

I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good thing if the Priesthood, the shepherds of the flock, would put into the hearts and the minds of the people and the membership of the Church the thoughts expressed by the prophets of God, for you remember that the Lord was so concerned about this work that one night he sent an angel here to earth to talk to a boy.  Three times that night he gave the selfsame message.  ‘Behold,’ said he to this boy, three times that night and then again the next morning:

Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the Prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall be turned to their fathers.  If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at His coming.

What a dramatic statement.  Now, mind you, up to this time nothing had been said about baptism for the living.  It seemed our Heavenly Father was so concerned about our fathers, our ancestors, that this was the message that seemed to be of the greatest import, that the Priesthood was to be revealed and that the children’s hearts should be turned to their parents or that the whole earth should be wasted at His coming.  Brethren, let us think about these words that come direct from our Heavenly Father through his prophets.  We are admonished to be awake to our responsibilities.”  (Nicholas G. Smith, Ass’t. to the 12, 7 Apr., 1944; CR Apr., 1944, pp. 100-101)

8 Jun.:  Duplications in temple work.

“Dear Stake Chairman:

During the year 1943 we checked at the Temple Index Bureau 781,496 names.  Of this number 320,075 names failed to receive approval for temple work because they had been previously endowed.  In one month alone (March 1944) out of 57,102 names checked, 22,354 were eliminated as duplications of work already done.

Had these attempted duplications not been prevented there would have been a waste of approximately more than 1,200,000 hours in the performance of unnecessary ordinances for the dead.  Even though the duplications were forestalled there had already occurred a tremendous expenditure of time in searching out these names and preparing the family records which were sent to the index bureau–all to no useful purpose.

We call upon all genealogical committees to exert every effort to avoid the sending in of such quantities of names already endowed.  Please instruct the people under your jurisdiction how this may be done.  Read the following article containing useful suggestions.

Sincerely your brethren,

Genealogical Society of Utah.

Joseph Fielding Smith, President.

Archibald F. Bennett, Secretary.”

(“Genealogy,” IE 47(7):455, Jul., 1944)

Jul.:  Names urgently needed at all temples.

“Names are urgently needed at all the temples.  You can do your share to make more available by using wisdom and good judgment in the names you copy and submit to the index office.  Place a high value on your time and ours.”  (“Genealogy,” IE 47(7):456, Jul., 1944)

Jul.:  Initiation of Heber J. Grant’s temple program.

“Last September the First Presidency of the Church asked the presidencies of stakes and the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums to do the endowment work for the one hundred thousand men for whom the ordinance of baptism had previously been performed.  I am greatly pleased with the interest that many of the brethren have taken and are taking in this work.  

All my life I have been interested in the building of temples and in the work performed therein.  Ever since 1901 when I obtained a Grant record, I have had someone working along research lines, and from four to twenty-four people doing ordinance work.  It has been suggested that the results of this activity, particularly an account of my personal participation, would be stimulating to the priesthood of the Church.

I have had one of my secretaries look up facts and figures from my journal and letter book.  One letter of December 24, 1926, contains this item:

Dear Brother Chipman:

Thursday morning I was busy at my office until ten o’clock with the Presidency’s mail.  We then went to the temple for the regular weekly meeting of the Presidency and Twelve, following which I went through the temple with the majority of the apostles and their wives.  It being the birthday of the Prophet, we celebrated it by doing temple work in honor of the founder of the Church.

It was in January 1928, that I decided to have a weekly ‘Grant night’ at the temple.  We had a splendid response from the following letter to Bishop Joseph Hyrum Grant.

My dearly beloved Nephew:

I feel that I have sadly neglected my temple work.  We have had about one meeting in a year or two of the Grant Family Association. 

Yesterday I hired Brother Brigham S. Young to devote his entire time looking after genealogy for me first and then if he has any spare time to gather up information for a history of my life.

I made up my mind a year ago that inasmuch as I could find time to play golf nearly an hour or two that I could find time to go to the temple for at least once a week, and I have no difficulty in arranging to go.  I don’t have to get there until ten or fifteen minutes before six o’clock and I am out before ten every night.  I have sometimes managed to go to the temple as often as three times a week, and I feel that we should try to arrange for you and your good wife and for other members of the family who are within reach to also go to the temple, and that we should be actively engaged in this work.

I realize that as I am seventy-one years and past, unless we do something in the near future, I am going to pass on to the other side and meet my relatives who have died without a knowledge of the gospel and am going to be condemned for my neglect.

Now I would like you to stir up your brothers and sisters to try to get to the temple at least once a week, and we will try to make Thursday our special night to go.  I have managed to find time to go to theaters and amusements in the past for years and years without going to the temple once.  If I had spent the time in the Salt Lake Temple that I have spent at worthless shows, it would have been far better for me, to say nothing about the benefits that would have accrued to those who die without a knowledge of the gospel.

As you always have taken more interest than I have in temple work, I am giong to trust to you to stir up your family to get to the temple as often as possible.

Ever praying for your welfare, and with assurances of love and esteem for you and all your dear brothers and sisters, and asking that we make a specialty of temple work, which I know will please your dear mother and father, I am, as ever, 

Your affectionate uncle,

Heber J. Grant

That the work was taking a strong hold on my heart and that of the Grant family is shown by an entry of March 6, 1928:

Hyrum’s family are doing fine, giong to the temple every Friday.  That is the day we have set to go.  We had twenty-three a week ago last Friday and eignteen last Friday who had endowments and then stayed afterwards and did a lot of sealing.  Last Friday we were sealed for twelve couples and had sixty-one children adopted.  I went through the temple twenty-two times in January and February, which is a good record, and I can go away now for a week without feeling that I am not keeping up my record of going twice a week, which is what I have been trying to do for the year 1928.

I have become very deeply interested myself in temple work, and am annoyed that I neglected it for twenty or thirty or forty years when I could just as well have done some temple work during all that period.  Taking time to play golf taught me a lesson that if you want to do a thing you can generally find time to do it.  I thought it would be a hardship to go once a week, but we went a little more than once a week last year and have decided to go twice a week this year, and I have had no trouble at all in going more than twice a week while I have been home.

From that time until my illness four years, I endeavored to go to the temple once a week.

Another excerpt from a letter of December 17, 1934, indicates our participation as a family in this wonderful work:

It may be of interest to you to know that on my birthday there were fifty of the family–including some of my brother’s relatives–sat down to dinner in the historic Lion House.  After dinner we went over to the temple and did temple work.  We believe in marriage for eternity and baptism for the dead, by the living acting as proxies for their kindred dead.  We were occupying three different rooms in the temple, having sealings for eternity performed for our dead.  We had 1,516 children sealed by proxy to their parents on my birthday.

My own records were unbalanced like those of most members of the Church–the women’s work being four thousand ahead of the men.  For a number of years I have only employed men, so that now the record has been evened up, enabling us to perform the necessary sealing ordinances.

I include here the latest report of Mrs. Grace R. Reynolds, who has done my record and research work for the last twelve years:

Family groups 13,714

Duplicate of pedigree charts          232

Number of persons identified       71,212

December 31, 1943

Ordinances recorded:

Baptisms 59,873

Endowments 59,873

Sealing, wives to husbands    11,199

Sealing, children to parents  41,565

Total ordinances     172,510

During recent years I miss more than I can tell the happy family association in the house of the Lord.  I am grateful to my Father in heaven that the way has been opened to obtain names of my departed kin, and that he awakened in me the desire and the will to do my individual duty in carrying forward the work in his holy temples.

May the spirit of temple work abound in the hearts of the Saints and may the brethren of the priesthood realize their responsibility and take full advantage of their opportunity to participate in this most important mission.”  (Heber J. Grant, IE 47(7):425, 472, Jul., 1944)

Jul.:  Increase in temple work.

“Intelligent Leadership Means Increase in Temple Work.

Reports indicate a commendable increase in temple work, particularly in connection with the current priesthood temple project.  Although some stakes are located more favorably for temple attendance, results invariably indicate that it is virile and progressive leadership which determines the amoung of temple work accomplished.

Official instructions emphasize that the encouragement of attendance at the temple is one of the major responsibilities of stake and ward genealogical officers.  All appointments for official baptism, endowment and sealing excursions for the stake should be made through the stake committee.  Stake and ward genealogical officials should utilize every established organization and every legitimate opportunity to have effective announcements of such appointments made to stimulate and inspire Church members to participate.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 47(7):446, Jul., 1944)

Sep.:  What is our personal responsibility to the dead?


Work for the salvation of the dead is of supreme importance.  Joseph Smith declared that, ‘. . . we without them [the dead] cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect.’  (D&C 128:18.)  On another occasion the Prophet said, ‘The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead.’  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 356.)  And he warned that, ‘Those Saints who neglect it in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation.’  (Teachings, p. 193.)

The basic reason for the importance of the work of the dead, is that the Lord would save all his children.  The plan of salvation is absolutely universal.  The work of the Lord will not be completed until all who come on earth have had a full and fair chance to accept or reject the gospel.  The power to do so remains with the dead in the spirit world, where the gospel will be preached to them.

However, the possible blessings of salvation are conditioned upon obedience to the principles and ordinances of the plan.  The dead as well as the living must comply with the requirements for salvation.  These requirements are of a two-fold nature.  Those that can be met in the life after this, in heaven, and those that must be performed on earth.  Faith and repentance may be developed in the spirit world.  Baptism with water (strictly an element of earth) a necessary ordinance of the gospel, can be performed only on earth.

This makes the dead dependent on us, the living, for help.  Since the dead cannot themselves submit to ordinances, which are specifically of the earth, yet by divine edict are requisite for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, the only thing that can be done, since the law must not be broken, is for someone living on earth to perform these ordinances in behalf of the dead.  Such vicarious work, of course, becomes effective only when the dead accept the work thus done for them.  This provides a way, by which, with the help of the living, the faithful dead can attain their full destiny.

Unless we, the living, perform such work for the dead, we set ourselves against the purpose of the Lord for all his children.  This places upon us, of evern generation who are yet among the living, the task of helping to complete the plan of salvation.  To such help we are all committed, by our acceptance of the propositions laid down in the council in heaven.  We agreed there to help carry the plan to completion.  That explains the Prophet’s statement that our largest obligations is to help open the doors of salvation for the dead; and also the warning that we endanger our own salvation by the neglect of this duty.

The first step towards such help, and a necessary one, is to secure the names of the dead, with sufficient vital data as to parentage, time, and place of birth, marriage, and death.  Such genealogical research should begin with the information possessed by our immediate family–parents, grandparents, great-grandparents–which will furnish keys and links when books, manuscripts, and registers are later examined.

Should, by an unlikely change, a family possess a complete genealogy, permission should be sought from a less fortunate family, or one careless about this work, to assist in gathering their genealogy.  But, in every family are branches, not in the Church, into which children are born, and from which persons die, in this day.  These should also be our concern.  The number who so die, daily, is far beyond the present reach of our temple work.  It is an interesting observation that the members of the Church, are related to practically every family, within the countries in which the gospel has been preached extensively.

As for the millions who lived before modern registration of people began in more civilized countries, it can only be said, that their records will also be made available, either now or during the millennium.  Far more records are now available, through the providences of the Lord, than are being utilized for temple work.  Patient, skillful research will reveal the names of man of our forefathers in ancient records dating back to about 1000 A.D.  These include not only distinguished, historical character, kings, nobles, and illustrious workers in many fields, dating back many centuries, but also numerous individuals who owned and disposed of landed prosperity.  Even some of the so-called ‘commoners’ are of record.  For them work may be done.  But the vast majority of God’s children, of past generations, have been lost to genealogical researchers.  The vital facts of the lives of these great hosts, unrecorded on existing records, will be made known when revealed.

Genealogical research, one of the most important activities of Latter-day Saints, is of little value, unless work is done in the temples of our departed relatives.  The second step towards helping the dead, is, therefore, to open the doors of salvation by performing the temple ordinances for them–baptisms, endowments, and the sealings of family groups.

The key to success and enjoyment in such work is regularity.  To do some genealogical and temple work at regular, stated periods, brings large returns in an accomplished task, and in inward satisfaction.  Those who have not tried it, have missed much.  One of the great rewards of doing work for the dead is that it insures the organization of the whole human family.  The government of heaven is by families.  It is patriarchal.  All who accept the gospel are brought together as a union of families, as one great family.  Therefore, a part of the work for the dead who accept the gospel, is to seal the members of the families together for eternity.  Those who on earth have been married until death parts them, are sealed by us for all eternity.  To such eternally-wedded couples are sealed, for eternity, the children that were born to them on earth, under the limited marriage of time.

Thus, the chain of families will be welded, even back to the first man and woman.  Thus, the faithful of all ages of earth will be as one great family.  This is the structural organization of the race of faithful children of God.  This makes possible many of the most glorious gifts of the plan of salvation.

The doctrine or sealing power of Elijah is as follows: If you have power to seal on earth and in heaven, then we should be wise.  The first thing you do, go and seal on earth your sons and daughters unto yourself, and yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory, and go ahead, and not go back, but use a little wisdom, and seal all you can, and when you get to heaven tell your Father that what you seal on earth should be sealed in heaven, according to his promise.  (Teachings, p. 340.  [CHECK THIS REFERENCE–MAKE SURE IT IS IN THE PROPER CHRONOLOGICAL SPOT])

It should be remembered that work for the dead must be done for each individual separately.  Man does the work for a man, and woman for a woman.  The pattern for earth and heaven is the same.

A man is ordained and receives his washings, anointings, and endowments for the male portion of his and his wife’s progenitors, and his wife for the female portion.  (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 405.)

Mass salvation is no more possible for the dead than for the living.  Each individual, living or dead, must act for himself, and must never be merged with a group.  Thus the right of free agency, of personal responsibility, is maintained.

. . . every man who wishes to save his father, mother, brothers, sisters and friends, must go through all the ordinances for each of them separately, the same as for himself, from baptism to ordination, washings and anointings, and receive all the keys and powers of the Priesthood, the same as for himself.  (Teachings, p. 363.)

Work on earth, for the dead, connects the earthly and spiritual worlds.  It transcends time and moves into eternity.  It cannot be done by anyone at will.  It requires special authority.  Baptism, the endowment, and all other vicarious ordinances are performed under the authority of the priesthood.  For the sealing of the dead, wives to husbands, children to parents, special sealing authority has been given the Church.  This is a mighty power, the greatest committed to the Church.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  (Matt. 16:19; see also D&C 132:46.)

The keys of this power and authority are possessed by the president of the Church, and by him alone.  He may confer the right to perform such sealings for limited periods, in in stated places, to others, but he may withdraw the authority at any time. 

This sacred work for the living and the dead is performed in places specially dedicated for the purposes.  Whenever the Saints can do so, temples should be built for these sacred labors.  And when temples exist, the ordinances of the endowment, and the work for the dead, cannot be done elsewhere.

For this ordinance belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me.  (D&C 124:30.)  There shall be no more baptisms for the dead, until the ordinance can be attended to in the Lord’s House.  (Teachings, p. 193; also see footnote.)  It is for the same purpose that God gathers together his people in the last days, to build unto the Lord a house to prepare them for the ordinances and endowments, washings and anointings, etc.  One of the ordinances of the house of the Lord is baptism for the dead.  God decreed before the foundation of the world that that ordinance should be administered in a font prepared for that purpose in the house of the Lord.  (Teachings, p. 308.)  As soon as the temple and baptismal font are prepared, we calculate to give the Elders of Israel their washings and anointings, and to attend to those last and more impressive ordinances, without which we cannot obtain celestial thrones.  But there must be a holy place prepared for that purpose . . . and for the men to be baptized for their dead.  (Teachings, pp. 362, 363.)

This explains why the Latter-day Saints are a temple-building people.

Those who accept the obligation to help bring the gospel to the whole human family, living and dead, receive great rewards.  To labor for people long gone from earth, and not known to us, develops unselfishness.  It trains us in the imitation of the Lord, who gave his life, amidst profound suffering, for his brethren and sisters on earth.  A powerful understanding follows such service, to fit men more perfectly to meet every issue of life, and to live righteously before men and God.

No other Church requirement lifts man to a nearer likeness of the Lord.  To a small extent we do for our brethren and sisters, what the Lord did for us.  Like him, we become saviors of others, ‘saviors on Mount Zion.’  Read the words of Joseph Smith the Prophet:

But how are they {the people of the Church} to become saviors on Mount Zion?  By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances, baptisms, confirmations, washings, anointings, ordinances and sealing powers upon their heads, in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead, and redeem them that they may come forth in the first resurrection and be exalted to thrones of glory with them; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfills the mission of Elijah.  (Teachings, p. 330.)”

(John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations,” IE 47(9):557, 574-575, Sep., 1944)

Dec.:  Limitations in research and temple work.

“In view of the looseness with which the term ‘relative’ is used by some in making out family group sheets, the following rules have been adopted by the board of directors of the Genealogical Society and are issued for the guidance of all Saints doing research and temple work.

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 Church historian and recorder.

Individuals are entitled to do temple work for the family groups of any of their progenitors (i.e., direct ancestors) and also for any families proved to be descended from any of their progenitors.  However, if there are direct descendants of these collateral relatives in the Church and active in temple work, any work done should be in close cooperation with such direct descendants.

A person in genealogical research may wisely gather names from the immediate localities where his ancestors actually resided for the purpose of later working out definite ancestral connections.  However, these connections shoiuld be accurately worked out and the names arranged just as far as possible in complete family groups before the temple work is begun.  Lineal connection of the heir to those names should be determined in every case possible, and the exact relationship of the heir given to the names shown upon family group sheets, before these are sent to the temple.

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

In no other cases should the term ‘relative’ be used in temple work.

Names assembled from New England sources cannot be accepted for clearance at the index office unless actual relationships are shown for each family, due to the high percentage of duplications in records from this area.

The board of directors of the Genealogical Society have officially expressed their disapproval of methods adopted by some Church members of gathering all names of their own or similar surnames from any book or locality, regardless of whether these are names of those belonging to their own family, or were taken from the immediate locality where their ancestors were known to have resided.  Such names in future cannot be accepted at the index office.  Members should endeavor always to trace their own pedigree, and obtain names of their own families so they may be properly linked up by sealing.

You are requested to send in no more records of royal families, from any country.  Virtually every eligible member of every royal family has already been officiated for, and frequently a number of times.”  (“Genealogy,” IE 47(12):780, Dec., 1944)

Dec.:  Name change for Genealogical Society.

“After fifty years of existence as the Genealogical Society of Utah, that organization has become the Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with the termination of the older charter of incorporation.”  (IE 47(12):786, Dec., 1944)

Temple Recommends.

“Who May Issue and Receive Recommends:  Bishops of wards and presidents of independent branches are authorized to issue temple recommends.  Members of dependent branches will obtain them from the bishops of the wards to which the branches are attached.

Every Church member eight years of age or over must have a recommend to enter the temple.  Each person must have his own recommend.  It is not proper, nor acceptable, to issue a joint recommend to a man and his wife.  When a member wishes to visit several temples during the year, a recommend to each temple is required.

The giving of recommends to enter the House of the Lord and participate in the ordinances therein performed is a most serious matter, not a mere formality to get members past the temple entrance.  Bishops should, of course, urge members of their wards to fit themselves by right thinking and living to enter the temple and do temple work, and encourage worthy members to obtain recommends.  Bishops should not, however, persuade all members of their wards to get recommends.  Bishops should always remember that only those who are really worthy members of the Church should be given recommends.  They are not to be issued to persons who do not sustain the General Authorities of the Church; who are not honest tithepayers or who do not undertake to become honest tithepayers, as distinguished from part tithepayers or token payers; who do not observe the Word of Wisdom or express a willingness to undertake to observe the Word of Wisdom; and who are not otherwise fully worthy by believing in and living the gospel.  See also Avoiding Serological Tests.

[From p. 70:  “In order to avoid serological tests, some couples are civilly married in a state not requiring serological tests, who then immediately apply for recommends to one of the temples in Utah for sealing.  An unwillingness to submit to a test raises in itself a question which rather accentuates the need for the test.  Therefore, couples who have been civilly married since the Utah statute went into effect, February 28, 1941, shall not be admitted to the temple to be sealed without their first having passed their serological tests.  Bishops will not issue recommends to any such couples to be sealed in the temple until they have complied with the requirements of the law and present the necessary certificates.”]

Candidates to be Interviewed:  Bishops should interview every applicant for a temple recommend and see that the statement on the back of the recommend form is signed by the applicant in triplicate, that is: the statement on the original copy should be signed; the statement on the duplicate copy which is given to the applicant should be signed; and the statement on the copy retained by the bishops should be signed, so that there will be no mistake as to the actual signature by the applicant.

If a bishop feels that the statement has not bee honestly made and signed, or if, in his opinion, the applicant, for other reasons, is not considered worthy to go to the temple he will, of course, not issue and sign the recommend.  But if, after the applicant has been examined, the bishop is satisfied of his worthiness and the statements have been properly signed, he will sign the three copies of the recommend and send the original and duplicate copies to the stake president.

Stake President’s Responsibility:  Upon receiving the original and duplicate copies of the recommends, the stake president will examine them and determine whether or not he believes the applicant is worthy of the recommend.  In case he has any doubt about the matter, either because he is not acquainted with the applicant or because the statements as signed by the applicant are not satisfactory to him, the stake president will call in the applicant, interview him, and make his own decision as to whether or not the applicant should be given a recommend.  If the stake president decides that the applicant should not be given a recommend, he will return without his signature the original and duplicate copies to the bishop of the ward who issued them, with a statement that he does not approve of the issuing of the recommend.  The three copies of the recommend will then be cancelled.

If the president of the stake decides, after investigation and interview, that the recommend should be issued, he will sign both the original and duplicate copies and return them to the bishop who issued them; or, if convenient to the applicant, he may give him the signed duplicate and return the original to the bishop.  The bishop will thereupon forward the original copy to the temple upon which it is issued and give the duplicate to the applicant, unless he has already received it from the stake president.  It is recommended that the stake president interview each applicant going to the temple for his own endowments.

Record Membership of One Year Required:  A bishop should not issue a recommend to a person who has not been a member of record in 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 or mission president as to the worthiness of a 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.

Exception to Individual Recommend:  The only exception to individual recommends is where groups of children are sent to temples to do baptismal work for the dead.  In these instances, the group form of recommend may be used, but bishops should satisfy themselves that each child recommended is a good child. . . .

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 other requirements listed in the various items of thes tatement, the bishop should carefully point out that the promise contained in item VI 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.  Members who cannot honestly make the affirmations contained in items I and II on the statement shall not receive recommends to the temple.  In no case should a recommend be given to an applicant merely because he has had one before.  Each applicant must show his worthiness for a recommend each time he applies.

Expiration Dates of Recommends:  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 September 30 of each year.  Church members will, therefore, be required to make application each year for recommends.  Any person becoming unworthy during the period shall have his recommend immediately revoked.

Special Cases:  Recommends may be given to wives of members of the Church who have not had their own endowments only if the husbands are absolutely willing that the endowments should be given to their wives.  Before recommends are issued for this purpose, presidents of stakes will be expected to personally interview husbands in order to assure themselves that the husbands have no objections 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.

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 to 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 for endowments 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.  This rule applies specifically to those who are seeking their own endowments.  Women, married to non-members, who had received their endowments before this rule was given, may still be granted the privilege of going through the temple, if they are worthy, notwithstanding their husbands are non-members.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Stake Presidents and Counselors, Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks and Other Church Officers, No. 17, 1944–1949 Reprint, pp. 63-66)