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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1969

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1969.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1969.

1969:  17 Mar.:  Garments and the military.

[A word-for-word repetition of the earlier Circular Letters of 2 Oct., 1950 and 31 Aug., 1964]

17 Mar.:  Dress code for temple attendance.

“We reiterate the instruction given in our letter of August 10, 1967 that sisters should be advised against wearing slacks or mini-skirts when going to the temple to receive their endowments or to do ordinance work for the dead.

There are also those of our brethren who sometimes to go the temple without a necktie or jacket and who otherwise are not properly groomed.

Temple patrons should bear in mind that they are visiting the House of the Lord and that they should wear clothing suitable for the occasion, such as they would wear when attending a sacrament meeting on Sunday.

We suggest that when interviewing brethren and sisters for recommends you kindly remind them of the sanctity of the temple and the propriety of being modestly dressed and properly groomed when they prepare to enter the temples of the Lord.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, 17 Mar., 1969; xerox)

Mar.:  Wearing of temple underclothing by servicemen.

“The continuous calling of men into military service makes it desireable to reaffirm certain observations previously made by the First Presidency in the matter of wearing temple underclothing.

Such apparel should be worn at all times unless very unusual circumstances prevent it.  Under present-day conditions there are very few such occasions.

When military underclothing is required, it should be worn with the understanding that the wearing of the temple underclothing shall be resumed at the earliest possible moment.

Under these exceptional circumstances the identifying features should be placed on small pieces of cloth and attached to the military underclothing while it is being worn, and then removed when the military apparel is sent to the laundry.

Every effort should be made to keep the approved pattern from attracting the attention of those who would misunderstand.

For further information it is suggested that stake presidents, bishops, mission presidents, or LDS military chaplains be consulted.”  (“The Priesthood Bulletin,” 5(1):7, Mar., 1969)

Mar.:  Garments to be worn under baptismal clothing.

“Brethren who have taken upon themselves the covenants of the temple and who are asked to perform baptisms for the living should not assume, because their clothes will get wet or for any other reason, that they should not wear garments under their white baptismal clothing. Regular garments are to be worn by everyone who has received his temple endowments, while performing baptisms.”  (The Priesthood Bulletin, Vol 5:#1; March 1969.)

30 Apr.:  Streamlining of initiatory ordinances.

April 30, 1969

“Presidents of Temples

Dear Brethren:

It has been decided that in order to increase our efficiency and improve our reverence in performing initiatory ordinance work in the temple the following procedure should be adopted.

1.  Ordinations to the Melchizedek Priesthood may be performed in advance with the other initiatory work to follow by other proxies.  Under this plan one proxy would be ordained for each individual name (as at present), but at one sitting he would act as proxy for several individual names.  This proposed procedure would eliminate the proxy walking back to the ordaining area after completing each initiatory ordinance.  Instead the proxy would remain in an assigned ordinance booth to complete all of the names on his list.

2.  Regarding the manner of performing sealings for the dead when using computer sheets, the first thing the officiator should do is to give preliminary general instructions to the proxies in respect to the proper way to join hands, proper position when at the altar, and where the various proxies are to sit when not at the altar (for the least loss of time as proxies are changed.)

See that witnesses are properly seated, and urge them (and all other participants) to be alert.

When handling the sealing for the first name on the first sheet of each card, the officiator should say:

‘Brother Jones, acting for John Wheeler, and Sister Jones acting for Mary Gardner’ (or if it is listed as Mrs. John Wheeler, then Sister Jones acting for the mother) ‘join your right hands in the Patriarchal grip.’

‘Brother Smith acting for Samuel Wheeler, place your right hand on your parents’ hands.’

The officiator should then say:

‘For each subsequent name in this group I will say “Brother and Sister Jones for parents,” and at that time you will join your right hands in the Patriarchal grip.  And when I say:  “Brother Smith for child,” Brother Smith will place his right hand on the parents’ hands.’

Where proxies are not husband and wife, the officiator will say:

‘Brother Jones and Sister Jensen for parents.’

The actual sealing ordinance must be verbatim.  Where the mother’s name is not known, it will be listed as ‘Mrs. John Jones.’  In such cases, the children should be sealed ‘to your father, John Jones, and to your mother.’  Do not add Mrs. John Jones. 

Where the mother’s name is known and is listed in this manner:  ‘John Jones and Mary Gardner,’ the children should be sealed ‘to your father, John Jones, and to your mother, Mary Gardner.’

The name ‘Jones’ should not be added.  All names should be used exactly as shown on the computer sheets.

We urge uniformity and exactness in all sealings.

Sincerely yours,

David O. McKay

Hugh B. Brown

N. Eldon Tanner

The First Presidency”

(First Presidency Circular Letter, 30 Apr., 1969)     

May:  Nauvoo Temple restoration.

“Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., a nonprofit corporation sponsored by the Church, has announced plans for a two-story visitors center at Nauvoo . . . Additional plans will call for restoration of the seventies hall, shops of tanners, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, wagon-makers, and other trades of the period.  Partial restoration of the Nauvoo Temple is also projected.”  (“The LDS Scene,” IE 72(5):74, May, 1969)

21 May:  Change on policy of garments and military.

“We reaffirm certain observations heretofore made with reference to the wearing of the temple garment by men in military service.

1.  It should be definitely understood that all who have go through the temple should wear and protect their garments as guardedly and sacredly as possible under all conditions.  The covenants entered into in the temple contemplate that the barment will be worn at all times.  These covenants reun between the one making them and the Lord.

Primarily, therefore, the wearing of the garment is an individual responsibility.  Consequently, the conscience of the wearer must guide when circumstances seem to justify any modification of these sacred and binding obligations.

2.  The sacredness of the garment should be ever present and uppermost in the wearer’s mind.  One way to protect this sacredness is to avoid exposing the garment to the view of scoffers.  When conditions arise making such exposure unavoidable, it may be best to lay aside the garment reverently and then put it on again as soon as conditions permit.

Every wearer should bear in mind, however, that there may be considerable inconvenience attached to wearing the garment when one is not associating wholly with Latter-day Saints, but that such inconvenience is by itself neither reason nor justification for laying the garment aside.  Tact, discretion, and wisdom can do much to alleviate this inconvenience.  The constant reminder which the wearing of the garments brings of obligations assumed in the temple is one of the greatest protections against sin.

3.  In some arease and under some conditions military regulations require the wearing of two-piece underwear.  The general observations set forth above should govern in these cases.  If there are other circumstances on which the individual may wish counsel, he should feel free to write directly to the First Presidency.

4.  When military regulations deprive the wearer of the privilege of the garment, such deprivation will in nowise affect the individual’s religious status, living or dead, provided, of course, that his worthiness to wear the garment remains unchanged.  Should an individual in military service be deprived of the right and privilege to wear the garment, because of military regulations or circumstances over which he has no control, it will be his privilege, right, and duty to wear it again as soon as circumstances permit.

5.  In war zones military regulations sometimes require that all underwear be dyed an approved green color.  Under these circumstances our men in military service should feel free to comply with the regulation.

6.  Military authorities have warned that certain synthetic fibers, if worn next to the skin, may create serious hazards for airmen and others who in case of accident or other conditions may be exposed to fire.  They have indicated that cotton is a much safer fabric to be worn for those so exposed.  Our brethren should bear this in mind in securing garments.

We have been informed that there may be coming on the market in the near future fireproof fabrics which may be available to use for garment manufacture.  If such developments occur, we shall advise you.

We remind our brethren that the blessings flowing from the observance of covenants are sufficiently great to recompense for any mere inconvenience.  To break our covenants is to forfeit the protection and blessings promised from obedience thereto.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, 21 May, 1969.  First Presidency Notebook)

16 Jun.:  Change on policy of garments and military.

“Under date of March 17, 1969 we issued a circular letter [dated 21 May, 1969] concerning the wearing of garments by men in military service.  The enclosed letter will supersede this and all other previous instructions on this subject.  

We ask that you immediately return to us and not copy for circulation or other purposes our letter of March 17.  

We ask that you handle the enclosed letter on the confidential basis which the subject matter deserves.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, 16 Jun., 1969)