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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1957

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TEMPLES, 1957.

1957:  2 Aug.:  Old style garments still acceptable.



Salt Lake City, Utah

August 2, 1957

Mrs. Joseph W. Lund

4132 Nerdica

San Diego 13, California

Dear Sister:

Your letter of July 23, 1957, addressed to President McKay, I am asked to acknowledge for him.

I am instructed to say that people who have a right to wear the garments are at complete liberty to wear the old style garment all the time both in and out of the temple.

Care should be taken not to expose the garment to the ridicule of unbelievers.

May the Lord continue to bless you.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ A. Hamer Reiser

Personal Secretary to:

The First Presidency”

(Letter to Mrs. Joseph W. Lund from A. Hamer Reiser, personal secretary to the First Presidency; August 2, 1957, Bergera collection)

  Oct.:  Marriage in the hereafter.

“Question:  There is what we may call an unwritten law in the world, that a woman cannot seek a companion in marriage but must wait until some man comes along to court and win her.  Should a girl show any inclination to take the lead she is frowned upon as committing an improper act.  The result is that many of our good young women are doomed to go through life aline.  The scriptures teach that ‘Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.’  The Church teaches that marriage is for eternity, and without it there cannot be the exaltation.  Are these women, then, who go through life alone, to remain separately without exaltation as angels in heaven to be servants to those who have been more fortunate?  This thought is troubling a great man of us.

Answer:  In the Kirtland Temple, January 21, 1836, the Lord gave to Joseph Smith the Prophet a vision as follows:

[HC 2:380-381]

According to the revealed word of the Lord based upon the restoration of the keys held by Elijah, we go into the temples today and perform vicariously all the ordinances required for exaltation for the dead who died without the opportunity to receive the gospel when they were living on the earth.  If this privilege is granted to us to work vicariously for the dead who lived during past ages, surely the Lord will not deprive those who are now living and who are less fortunate, and because of no fault of their own, fail to receive these great blessings upon which, through faithfulness, exaltation is based and offered to the dead.  The case of Alvin Smith is in point.  He died before the restoration of the gospel, but after the coming of Moroni, yet the Prophet saw him in this vision partaking of the blessings of exaltation.  This vision was one still future, it is true, for the prophet also saw his father and mother there, and they were still living on the earth at the time.

Therefore, through the mercy and justice of the Lord, any young woman who maintains her virtue and accepts in her heart all the commandments and ordinances of the gospel will receive the fulness of the glory and exaltation of the celestial kingdom.  The great gift of eternal life will be given her.  This gift the Lord has described, shall be a ‘fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.’  All the gifts of exaltation will be hers, because she has been true and faithful, and what was denied her here will be given to her hereafter.  The Lord has said, [D&C 132:8-14].

After explaining this the Lord continues by saying that marriages performed in the world and not according to this law of the new and everlasting covenant, must come to an end when the covenanting parties are dead.  For out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage.  Therefore, those who are otherwise worthy before the Lord, and are satisfied with a marriage according to the laws of the world, may enter his kingdom, but if so they enter there to become ‘ministering servants,’ and their status is fixed ‘forever and ever.’  This applies, of course, to those who wilfully ignore the law of the Lord and are content with a marriage which is to continue only until death separates them.

In the great plan of salvation nothing has been overlooked.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most beautiful thing in the world.  It embraces every soul whose heart is right and who diligently seeks him and desires to obey his laws and covenants.  Therefore, if a person is for any cause denied the privilege of complying with any of the covenants, the Lord will judge him or her by the intent of the heart.  There are thousands of members of the Church in foreign lands who have married and reared families in the Church, who were deprived of the privilege of being ‘sealed’ for time and all eternity.  Many of these have passed away, and their blessings are given them vicariously.  The gospel is a vicarious work.  Jesus vicariously performed a labor for us all because we could not do it for ourselves.  Likewise, he has granted to the living members of the Church that they may act as proxies for the dead who died without the opportunity of acting in their own behalf.

Furthermore, there are thousands of young men as well as young women, who have passed to the world of spirits without the opportunity of these blessings.  Many of them have laid down their lives in battle; many have died in their early youth; and many have died in their childhood.  The Lord will not forget a single one of them.  All the blessings belonging to exaltation will be given them, for this is the course of justice and mercy.  So with those who live in the stakes of Zion and in the shadows of our temples; if they are deprived of blessings in this life these blessings will be given to them during the millennium, for the Lord has prepared at that time to ‘complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work.’  (D&C 77:12)

[Mt. 11:28-30]

Alma has given us comforting words in his counsel to his son Corianton:

[Alma 41:2-3]”

(Joseph Fielding Smith, “Your Question,” IE 60(10):702-703, Oct., 1957)