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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1948

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1948.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1948.

1948:  May:  Male:female ratios in Utah.

“What wasn’t announced at the conference was the fact that of all members affiliated in the stakes of Zion, there are now 100.2 women for every one hundred men.  {Records, Presiding Bishop’s Office}

We checked further into the division of the sexes.  We found that Church statistics were not immediately available, but that the United States census figures for Utah were.  As the population of Utah has always been predominantly Latter-day Saint, the following table is interesting.

Males per 100 Females

Year All races Native born Foreign born

1940 102.6 102.2 107.5

1930 104.9 103.5 119.9

1920 106.8 104.0 126.7

1910 111.5 106.5 139.1

1900 104.9 104.6 106.0

1890 113.3

1880 107.3

1870 103.4

1860 101.2

1850 113.3

[The high foreign born ratio is attributed to the Japanese, with a male:female ratio of 255.2 to 100.0 in 1930, and 378.5 to 100.0 in 1920]”  (“The Church Moves On,” IE 51(5):262-263, May, 1948)

Jun.:  How does work for dead promote world peace?


It is significant that the earliest revelation to the Prophet Joseph, after the first vision, concerned itself with work for the dead.  In the restoration of the gospel of peace, the proclamation of universal salvation was first emphasized!  That could not have been an accident.

During the evening or night of September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith received a visitation from Moroni, a resurrected ancient Nephite prophet.  The visitor rehearsed the work to be done by the young chosen prophet–the need for the restoration of the gospel, and the means by which it would be accomplished.  In his discourse Moroni quoted several times from the Bible without any change from the existing text, except in one case.  The fifth and sixth verses of of the fourth chapter of Malachi were rendered with notable changes, which now appear as Section 2, the earliest section in point of time, in the Doctrine and Covenants.  It reads as follows:

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 turn to their fathers.

If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.

This brief but remarkable revelation clearly foreshadows the work later authorized to be done for the dead in the temples of the Lord.  It declares with unusual emphasis that unless this is done the plan of the Lord will not be achieved–‘the whole earth will be utterly wasted’ at the coming of the Savior.  The importance of the work could not be more strongly stated.

Aside from the service to the dead, and the consequent assistance in completing the plan of the Lord for the human race, such work if sincerely done has a powerful effect upon the living who perform the work.  Temple work for the dead is incomparably unselfish.  The persons for whom work is done in the temples are often to the worker nothing more than names of people who lived perhaps hundreds of years ago.  We kmay know little or nothing about their lives.  Yet, thought, means, and time are expended for them in doing work necessary for their salvation, but which in the spirit world they cannot do for themselves.  We do for them what we would have them do for us, were we in the spirit world, and they on earth.  As this work is done and repeated, the participators increase daily in love of others, become more unselfish in their daily walk and talk among the living.  They approach steadily the likeness of God, which is the high objective of the gospel.

Only such people can really prepare the world for the coming of Jesus Christ.  Only such people can capture peace and return it to the peace-hungry earth.  It is for people of high unselfishness that the world is waiting.  Without them there can be no peace.

Was not this the message of the Lord Jesus Christ?

The world has always had its troubles.  It was so in the days of Jesus.  The Roman yoke was heavy, political and religious differences divided the people; there was the bitter contrast of poverty and wealth, of ignorance and learning.  Uprising among the people gave governmental agencies concern.  Life was anything but peaceful and fully happy in the Holy Land in the days of the Savior on earth.

How to solve these problems was the chief subject of discussion, whether in Jerusalem or in the humblest Palestinian village, whether among the common people or the rabbis.

Such questions in their various ramifications were asked in simple sincerity by the followers of Jesus, but more often hurled at him in deceiving forms by his enemies.  One day a clever but avowed enemy put a question which he thought would silence the man who announced himself the Messiah, and who was stirring up the people into rebellino against established forms of living.  In the opinion of the questioner the answer could not be a simple one, and in its complexities would ensnare Jesus as in a net.

[Mt. 22:36-40]

. . . .

Work for the dead, requiring a high degree of unselfishness, trains people to think of others, and to serve them.  This training will carry the use of the golden rule into the daily affairs of men.  It will develop and fit a group of God’s children who eventually will lead in bringing peace to an unhappy world.

There is great virtue in the opportunity that has been granted us to serve the dead.  It will turn man from hate to love.  It is part of our great destiny.  We must not let it pass us by!  It was one of the earliest gifts of the Lord to his people of the latter days; and will determine the acceptance by him of our work on earth.”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations,” IE 51(6):385, 400, Jun., 1948)

26 Jul.:  Washing of feet by wife.

“In the evening I received the ordinance of washing of feet by my wife Betsy, 716 Belvedere.”  (George F. Richards diary, 26 Jul., 1948)

Oct.:  Does temple marriage diminish divorce?


Divorce is an evil.  It is the result of an unsuccessful marriage.  Such a breaking of family ties hurts those immediately concerned, and society as a whole.  The welfare of the world depends in large measure on the existence of happy homes in which joyous family relationships blossom.  The Church has always decried divorce.

Nevertheless, the Church, which tries to conserve the welfare and happiness of its members, has also realized that in a community of frail human beings, many mistakes may be made.  Imperfect acquaintanceships, hasty marriages, undesirable habits, different life philosophies, and many other conditions may make husband or wife wish that he or she had not married.  Under such conditions a divorce sometimes seems preferable to a lifetime of unhappiness.  So, divorces have not been forbidden by the Church.

. . . .

Customarily, those who have the most faith are married in the temple–sealed for time and eternity.  If conditions compel marriage outside of the temple, the sealing ordinance is secured as soon as possible after the non-temple ceremony.

. . . .

In the matter of divorce, how do temple marriages compare with marriages under stake or ward authorities?  In finding the answer to this legitimate question, an interesting investigation has recently been made.

All marriages of couples who were married under Church authority in the Salt Lake stakes and vicinity in 1936 were studied.

There were 787 couples married that year in the region chosen.  Ninety-six of these could not be found.  Therefore, the study concerned itself with 691 couples.  Of these, 381 couples were married in the temple, and 310 by stake or ward authorities.  

Of the couples married in the temple there were 23 divorces; but of those married outside the temple by Church authority there were 47 divorces.  That is, according to this study it appears that temple marriage doubles the protection against divorce.  True, the survey considered only one year, in one temple district.  Yet later studies will undoubtedly show a similar definite reduction in divorces among those married and sealed in the temples of the Lord.”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations,” IE 51(10):641, 656, Oct., 1948)

Dec.:  Nibley series on Baptism for Dead in ancient times.

[Beginning of multi-part series entitled “Baptism for the Dead in Ancient Times,” by Hugh Nibley.]  (IE 51(12):786, Dec., 1948)

Dec.:  Each quorum should have a temple project.

“There are usually many worthy quorum members who seldom, if ever, go to the temple.  During the winter months a project to encourage members to do temple work could very consistently be launched by the quorum activity and Church service committee.

Perhaps no service in the Church more effectively promotes spirituality and devotion to gospel requirements than the ordinance work performed in the house of the Lord.  Participants are reminded of the solemn obligations resting upon them and of the sacred covenants which they have made as members of the Church.

It would be well for each quorum to commence such a project without delay.  The stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee should lend every encouragement.  This is especially true in the areas where temples are located.  Such an effort would most certainly exert an influence for good on many who may have become somewhat indifferent to priesthood responsibilities.  Interest in genealogical work would result in many cases through the temple ordinance work.  The genealogical committees in the stakes and wards would welcome an opportunity to cooperate with the quorums in such a priesthood endeavor.

Inasmuch as the Prophet Joseph Smith stressed that ‘seeking after our dead is our greatest responsibility,’ this vitally important phase of priesthood activity should be given every encouragement and impetus.  Greater devotion to the teachings of the Master will surely result, and with increased devotion, the priesthood will become more effective in promoting the work required at the hands of those living in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 51(12):814, Dec., 1948)