← Back to Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism Index

Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1959

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1959.” You can view other years here.

Search the content below for specific dates, names, and keywords using the keyboard shortcut Command + F on a Mac or Control + F on Windows.

TEMPLES, 1959.

1959:  Feb.:  The status of retarded children.

“Question:  As an employee in a training school I have stood beside one of the cribs and wondered, with pity and compassion in my heart, what stand or explanation the Authorities of the Church have in regard to these retarded children.

I have been told that President Brigham Young said they were vailant and loyal followers of God before they came here; that they did not have to make any progress while on this earth.  All they had to do was come here and take a mortal body, and when they left here they would go straight to the celestial kingdom.

Will you please tell me what is right?

Answer:  I do not have before me any statement made by President Brigham Young dealing with this problem.  It is very likely that President Brigham young did make some statement dealing with this subject, but whether so or not, we have the word of the Lord that aids us in our conclusion.

We have good reason to believe that all spirits while in the pre-existence were perfect in form, having all their faculties and mental powers unimpaired.  It is difficult to believe that in that existence spirits were deficient, for that was a perfect world notwithstanding each spirit had his or her free agency.  The reason for these deformities in body and mind are therefore physical.  In other words they are confined to the mortal existence, and they are due to physical injury or impairment which comes because of accident or sickness before birth.  We have a case in point in the healing of the man who was born blind.  The disciples came to the Savior and asked the question whether this man was suffering this blindness as a punishment because of some personal sin before he was born or was it due to the sin of his parents.  The answer of the Savior was that neither the parents nor this man had sinned to bring upon him the prenatal blindness.  It, like all other cases of deficient powers, was due to a physical condition over which child or parents had no control.

The Lord has made it known by revelation that children born with regarded minds shall receive blessings just like little children who die in infancy.  They are free from sin, because their minds are not capable of a correct understanding of right and wrong.  Mormon, when writing to this son Moroni on the subject of baptism places deficient children in the same category with little children who are under the age of accountability, they do not require baptism, for the atonement of Jesus Christ takes care of the equally with little children who die before the age of accountability, as follows:

For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law.  For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing.  (Mormon 8:22)

Again the Lord has stated:

And again, I say unto you, that whoso having knowledge, have I not commanded to repent?

And he that hath no understanding, it remaineth in me to do according as it is written.  (D&C 29:49-50)

Therefore the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considers all deficient children with retarded capacity to understand, just the same as little children under the age of accountability.  They are redeemed without baptism and will go to the celestial kingdom of God, there, we believe, to have their faculties or other deficiencies restored according to the Father’s mercy and justice.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Your Question,” IE 62(2):80-81, Feb., 1959)

Feb.:  Trying to make temple work the duty of HPs.

“Now, of course, the Lord says that our greatest individual responsibility is to seek after our dead; but as men holding the priesthood our responsibility is–so far as temple work is concerned–to teach, to instruct, to persuade, to prevail upon men and women who are not inclined to take advantage of their opportunities and receive these blessings for themselves, to go into the temple where they can do this work.  That is our responsibility as men holding the priesthood.  It does not make any difference whether we are high priests, seventies, or elders.  We are trying to place this burden especially upon the high priests of the Church.  The seventies preach the gospel–that is where they belong–the elders are ministers at home, the high priests are ministers at home, and we are also trying to train them to take upon themselves this responsibility of teaching their fellow men in all that pertains to exaltation and to help prepare them to go to the temple to do these labors in behalf of their dead.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 62(2):99, Feb., 1959)

Mar.:  Salvation of women with non-member husbands.

“Question:  I have tried to be a good Church member and have a strong testimony of the gospel, and the older I get the stronger is my faith.  I am married to a non-member.  We have three children.  Two are married and were married in the temple, and the third is going to be.  My husband does not show the slightest interest in the Church; in fact, he shows some resentment against it.  I used to plead with him but have learned that it does no good.

I can live my life out this way, but what will happen to me and my children, who are faithful members, in the resurrection?  I want my children and my grandchildren more than anyone can know, but how can this be accomplished if conditions remain as they are?

Answer:  This is one of the saddest conditions that we are confronted with in the Church.  The Lord has revealed that the marriage covenant should be eternal.  This is the definite statement he gave to the Pharisees when they made inquire of him as follows:

Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them in the beginning made them male and female.

And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  (Mt. 19:3-6)

Here is a clear statement that the marriage covenant, when properly performed, is eternal.  It is not to be annulled and come to an end at death.  The first marriage performed on earth was the marriage of Eve to Adam, and this was before there was any death, therefore it was intended to be forever.  The Lord has revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith his law concerning marriage, and that it is to be an everlasting covenant.  Those who are so married will become members of the family of God, for those who receive the exaltation will be members of his great family, as stated by Paul.  (Eph. 3:14-15)  They are to become joint heirs with Christ receiving the fulness of the Father’s kingdom (Romans 8:14-17)

Here we have a case where there is a faithful mother who has by her integrity kept her children in the faith, but who is married to an unbelieving husband.  Naturally she is worried and wonders how she may retain her family in the eternity to come.  The Lord has made this matter perfectly clearn, and in answer to this sister’s question we can say to her, and to the many others in like circumstances: If you remain faithful and true, the Lord will take your faith and devotion into account and reward you according to your works.  It is a deplorable matter when a husband and wife are married for time only which according to the covenant they have taken must end in death, and then to have the wife wish and long for the blessings of husband and children in eternity.  The laws of the Christian world, all denominations, except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, proclaim the edict that all marriages must end at death, thus they include a bill of divorcement with every marriage.  This naturally brings sorrow to a woman who loves both husband and children and who has received the truth.  Naturally she wonders what her condition and relationship to her family will be hereafter.  However there is some comfort to women in this status, the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, in answer to his prayer in the following words, his justice and mercy to all such unhappy souls:

All who have died without a knowledge of the Gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom, for I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.  (HC 2:380)

When the wife is faithful and desires to obey the divine law and the husband is rebellious, or unwilling to obey the will of the Lord, if she maintains her integrity to the best of her ability, she will be given to another husband in eternity and will receive all the blessings of the celestial kingdom.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Your Question,” IE 62(3):144, Mar., 1959)

4 Apr.:  Priesthood Saturdays for male endowment backlog.

“Recently we have had an extremity in the Los Angeles Temple, as it true in the other temples.  Under the inspiration of the Lord the Brethren have given to us in the Los Angeles Temple an Advisory Committee.  As a temple presidency we have no right nor authority to assign quotas or tell the stake presidents what they should do.  We found early in our experience in California, however, that all you have to do is suggest to the folks what you want and they go ahead and do it.  So we made suggestions to our Advisory Committee, and they in turn carried the suggestions to the stake president, indicating our need for bringing into balance the endowment work as far as the Priesthood was concerned.  It was the decision of the stake presidents that we should devote certain Saturdays to Priesthood Sessions.

Well, we started the Priesthood Sessions at 6 o’clock in the morning and went through until 6 o’clock in the evening, a session every hour on the hour.  At a quarter after four in the morning when Sister Bowring and I walked over to the temple there were two or three buses from San Francisco there, with a number of cars, already waiting to get into the temple.  Before 9 o’clock there were over 1500 brethren in the Los Angeles Temple, and during a single day these fine men did a total of 2946 male names in the Los Angeles Temple.  I’ll tell you we went home tired, but it was a mighty good tired.  Those brethren, busloads of them from the Bay Area, from San Diego, from all over the temple district, among them two busloads of Servicemen from Fort Ord, and what a thrill it was to see those fine young men come to the House of the Lord to provide these sacred ordinances.”  (Benjamin L. Bowring, Los Angeles Temple President, 4 Apr., 1959; CR Apr., 1959, pp. 41-42)

4 Apr.:  A plan to take genealogy into the quorums.

“New stress is being laid upon genealogical work.  I am grateful to know that recently the Genealogical Society has instituted a plan to carry the genealogical program into the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums.”  (Edward L. Clissold, Oahu Stake Presidency, 4 Apr., 1959; CR Apr., 1959, p. 43)

6 Apr.:  No temples without Elijah’s coming.

“The mission of Elijah is to restore to earth the power, that whatsoever is sealed on earth will be sealed in heaven.  This sealing power is not alone for the dead.  The dead cannot receive these blessings uinless there are those living who have performed these same sealing ordinances for themselves, first–that is, a wife to a husband and children to parents.

Without the coming of Elijah there would be no need for temples, there would be no sealing in marriage for time and eternity, no sealing of children to parents, no need for genealogy.  There would be no sealing for the living or the dead.  This is not for the dead alone, it is for the living first.”  (Eldred G. Smith, 6 Apr., 1959; CR Apr., 1959, p. 99)