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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1952

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1952.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1952.

1952:  Jan.:  Does temple marriage reduce divorce?


Divorce has become in the United States a national disgrace.  Marriage vows are being lightly taken and as lightly broken.  In some circles of society men and women are proud of their record of marriages and divorces.  This is wrong, very wrong!  There may be an occasional justifiable cause for divorce, but people should enter marriage with a view of a lifetime of association, in the midst of the problems of life, personal and social.  This scandalous condition is largely due to the forgetfulness of the meaning of love–the eternal, divine impulses which rise above the trivialities of life.  Married life should not be undertaken unless love is to be the mentor–a love to which the small differences in life count as naught in the preservation of love.

In discussing the divorce evil, the minds of Latter-day Saints are turned towards temple marriage–the marriage which seals for time and eternity and which endures forever.  Ordinary observation of the people around us shows that those who have enjoyed temple blessings live more happily, perform their duties in and out of the Church more faithfully, and are the more dependable citizens in any community.  Undoubtedly there is less divorce among them.

Some years ago, as partly recorded in The Improvement Era of October 1948, an attempt was made to determine whether temple marriage is a deterrent to divorce.  This has been continued, now involving widely-scattered localities and personalities.  It was decided to select one year and to study the conditions of those married in that year.  The year 1936 was chosen.  It was far enough away from the present to expect married people to have settled down in peace or otherwise.  Moreover, those married in 1936 have passed through the war period when divorce became popular.

Three temple areas were chosen: Salt Lake, St. George, and Arizona.  The attempt was made to trace all Latter-day Saint marriages in those areas, in and out of the temples.  The marriages fell into three classes: 1. married in the temple, 2. married by Church authorities outside of the temple (by bishops and stake presidents), and 3. married by civil authority only.  The present status of about thirteen percent of the marriages could not be found; but eighty-seven percent were found, and their marriage status learned.  The results were approximately the same in all three areas, so the findings must be reliable.  Combining the results from all three areas it was found that of those married in the temple, k83.9 percent were active to some extent in the Church, while of those married by Church authorities, but outside of the temple, only 46.0 percent were active in the Church, and 37.6 percent of those married by civil authorities were active in the Church.  Temple marriage clearly leads to an orderly, faithful life in the Church.  It may well be gathered from these figures that those who have had the faith and wisdom to marry in the temple are carrying forward the work of the Church.

Among those married in the temple, 6.4 percent couples had been divorced during the fifteen years of the study.  However, of those married by Church authorities, outside of the temple, there were nearly two and one half times more divorces, namely 15.6 percent.  Among those married by civil authorities the number rose to three times that of temple marriages, namely 19.4 percent.  These figures carefully and laboriously assembled declare that temple marriages are a protection against divorce.

If a man and women are really in love and want that love to endure, they should fit themselves for marriage in the temple.  The temple endowment and the sealing for eternal companionship become powerful means of achieving joy on earth and in the heavens beyond.”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations,” IE 55(1):14-15, Jan., 1952)

Feb.:  Male:female ratio in Church.

“Church statistics, embracing 180 stakes, reveal the average to be:

Stakes 4992 members

Percent male   49.76

Percent female   50.24″

(IE 55(2):72, Feb., 1952)

1 Mar.:  The Fulness of the Priesthood.

“Joseph Smith said further:

If a man gets a fulness of the Priesthood of God, he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.

I hope we understand that.  If we want to receive the fulness of the Priesthood of God, then we must receive the fullness of the ordinances of the house of the Lord and keep His commandments.  This idea that we can put off our salvation because of some weakness of the flesh until the end, and then our children will go and do this work for us in the temple of the Lord when we are dead will get us nowhere.  Salvation for the dead is for those who died without a knowledge of the Gospel so far as celestial glory is concerned.  And those who have rejected the truth and who have fought the truth, who would not have it, are not destined to receive celestial glory.  Now, the Lord says this–it is not my saying, I am glad to say, although I fully believe it.

Let me put this in a little different way.  I do not care what office you hold in this Church, you may be an apostle, you may be a patriarch, a high priest, or anything else, and you cannot receive the fullness of the priesthood unless you go into the temple of the Lord and receive these ordinances of which the prophet speaks.  No man can get the fulness of the priesthood outside of the temple of the Lord.  There was a time when that could be done, for the Lord could give these things on the mountain tops–no doubt that is where Moses got it, that is no doubt where Elijah got it–and the Lord said that in the days of poverty, when there was no house prepared in which to receive these things, that they can be received on the mountain tops.  But now we have got temples, and you cannot get these blessings on the mountain tops, you will have to go into the house of the Lord, and you cannot get the fulness of the priesthood unless you go there.  Do not think because anybody has a higher office in this Church than you have, that you are barred from blessings, because you can go into the temple of the Lord and get all the blessings there are, that have been revealed and, if you are faithful, have them sealed upon you as an elder of this Church, and then you have all that any man can get.  There have to be officers in the Churdch, and we are not all called to the same calling, but you can get the fulness of the priesthood in the temple of the Lord by obeying this which I have read to you.  I want to make this emphatic.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, Instructor 87(3):66-67, 1 Mar., 1952)

21 Mar.:  When it is OK not to wear temple garments.

“Your letter of March 18 has been received.  I shall answer the question and hope that I am quite right.  I have often asked concerning the very thing you ask, and have received answers, all of which are more or less different.

I think a brother who has been through the temple should wear his garments all the time, and yet there are some times when it would be alright if they were not worn because when they can be seen people do not understand and more or less unkind remarks are made.

Personally, the garment is a very sacred piece of clothing and I have always been careful never to be seen with them on.  Therefore, should your brother take his garments off at times when he is going to be in the presence of men in the service, it would be alright.”  (LEY to Mrs. Vern Wigant, 21 Mar 1952, Levi Edgar Young Papers, Utah State Historical Society, B12, Box 7)