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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1972

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1972.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1972.

1972:  27 Jan.:  Recommends for women with non-member husbands.

“The following instruction was issued by the First Presidency in the August 1970 issue of the Priesthood Bulletin:

A female Church member married to a nonmember is not permitted to receive a temple recommend for her endowment blessing.  The same applies to a female member married to a Church member who has not received his endowment, even though the husband is willing to give his consent in writing for his wife to receive her endowment.

This instruction superseded subparagraph I found on page 92 of the General Handbook of Instructions, ‘RECOMMENDS FOR WIFE ONLY,’ which provided that the wife of a Church-member husband who had not received his endowments might be issued a recommend if the husband expressed his consent in writing.

We are informed that from time to time recommends are issued to sisters in accordance with the old provision in the handbook but contrary to and in apparent ignorance of the new instruction contained in the August 1970 Priesthood Bulletin.

In order that unfortunate situations of this kind can be avoided in the future, we request that hereafter you have a clerk or someone else make proper notations in the Handbooks of Instructions opposite items which are superseded by items appearing in the Priesthood Bulletin, with proper cross references which will enable you readily to refer to the Priesthood Bulletin involved.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, 27 Jan., 1972; xerox)

16 Feb.:  “Old style” used in temple for uniformity.

“For your information we may say that some years ago the First Presidency and the brethren of the Twelve authorized certain modifications in the style of the temple garment.  These modifications consisted of the following changes:  (1) collar eliminated, (2) closed crotch, (3) buttons instead of strings, (4) legs to knee, and (5) short sleeves.

It is the mind of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve that this modified garment may be used by those who desire to adopt it without violating any covenant they make in the House of the Lord and with a clear conscience, so long as they keep the covenants which they have made.  This modified garment does not supersede the old style garment.  Either of these patterns may be worn, as Church members prefer, and those using either will not be out of harmony with the order of the Church.

However, in order that there may be uniformity in temple work and that expedition in the administration  of the ordinances of the House of the Lord may not be impeded, the brethren have recommended that people doing temple work wear the old style garment.”  (First Presidency to President Boyd F. Schenk, St. Louis Stake, 16 Feb., 1972.  Bergera notes)

Apr.:  Temple endowment fund.

“The Temple Endowment Fund enables individuals who live a long distance from the temple, or who are otherwise unable to attend, to make contributions to assist others to perform temple work.  This fund is used to aid patrons who have time and are physically able to perform temple work but who need financial assistance for lunch money or transportation.  This fund is important and we encourage contributions to it.

However, some have thought that by making a contribution to the Endowment Fund their temple responsibility has been fulfilled.  It was never intended that the payment of money into the Endowment Fund would satisfy the obligation Church members have to do temple work.  We cannot buy exaltation.  It is obtained only by compliance with all of the commandments, one of the most important of which is seeking out our kindred dead and performing their work in the temple.”  (“The Priesthood Bulletin,” 8(2):4, Apr., 1972)

2 May:  Discussion relating to the temple garment.  

“Introductory Comments:  I worked at the Salt Lake Knitting Works during World War II (early 1940’s).  We had a little lunchroom on the floor below–but we didn’t have any stairs–just a ramp.  I got breakfast every morning for Joe Miller, the nephew of President Joseph F. Smith.  (Joseph F. Smith and Joe Miller’s mother were brother and sister.)  Joe had been on a mission; he had just got home and got married, and he came down the ramp one morning for his breakfast.  (He used to always call me ‘Ma Taylor.’)  He said, ‘I’m worried.  My wife will not wear the garment–so she took it off.  I don’t know what to do.’  Then the next morning he came down and said, ‘We drew up a pattern last night, and I’m going to have three made like it.  She fixed these garments.  We drew a pattern just like she wanted, and we’re going to make up three pair today.’  He took them hone that night, and came back the next morning excited and said to me, ‘Those are the most beautiful garments you ever saw in your life, and I’m going to make them.  Everybody in the store that has worked on them has ordered three pairs.  Now let me make you three pairs.’  And I said, ‘I have all the garments I can possibly use.’  At that time I was wearing the garments that were worn before Pres. Grant changed them.  In April Conference, 1924, Pres. Grant said:  ‘I have had many calls and letters from the older people in the Church, telling me that I have no right to change the garment.  I am the President of this Church and I have a right to change anything I want to change.  We have changed the garment, because the young people have refused to go to the Temple, because they will not wear the garment.  And, the men in Bingham Canyon, in the mines, have asked to have it changed someway, because they get their clothes so wet.  We have prayed about it, and prayed about, and have received no answer; so we took a vote on it, and decided to change it this far:  We have taken off the collar, and the strings, and we’ll put buttons down the front instead.  We have cut off the legs to within 4 1/2 inches below the knee and the sleeves 4 1/2 inches below the elbow; and that is all we intend to do with it.  Nobody has to wear it, if they don’t want to.  Sister Grant and I don’t intend to change our garments.’  (I helped dress Augusta Grant many times in the Temple, and she wore nothing but the Old Style Garments.)

Question:  What kind of collar did they have on them?

Answer:  Well, they had little collars around here.  (motioning)  But Pres. Grant took the collars off completely.

And so this day, when Joe ran down, he was excited and he was going to make several of these new style garments.  He said, I’m going over to the Church Authorities this morning, and take these garments and have them approved.  Now, these garments were just like an underskirt.  They had about a 3″ sleeve–just over the shoulder–and they didn’t have any opening at all–it was just like putting on an underskirt–just loose all over.  The legs were bit legs.  So Joe went up to the Authorities of the Church that day to have them approved.  When he came back, he didn’t say a word.  He went to the table and sat down, and I took his dinner over to him, and I said,  ‘Well . . .?’  And he said, ‘No, they wouldn’t change them.’  But he said, ‘You know something?  I’m going to make them!  All the girls that have worked on them have ordered three pairs–they all like them.’  And he said, ‘I’ve got this big roll of tape for labels (that says “Approved by the LDS Church”), and I’m going to put that tape on them, and I’m going to make those garments–I don’t care what they say.’  Well, he did make those garments.

About a month after that when I went through the sewing room to go downstairs, they had a long table, about as long as this room, just big enough to put the garment out, and they had garments–one piled on top of the other–until standing up, I could just barely reach the top of it.  That table was loaded with that kind of garments right there and then.  Now, he didn’t have any authority to change the garment–not any authority–but he changed it.  But the women fell for it.

             * * *

I was just thinking the other night, about an article I read written by an old lady.  She came from some other country, as a Latter-day Saint, and she worked in the Temple.  In this article she wrote that she was frightened for the women of the Church.  That was before this happened.  I don’t think Joe ever knew her—I didn’t; she was an old woman when I knew her.  She said that she had a dream, and she dreamed that she walked over to a big, steep canyon, and it was so black and so far down that you couldn’t see the bottom.  the farther down, the blacker it got.  She said she walked back away from the canyon, and then noticed just a little ways down, a big flat rock that went out over the canyon.  She stood there and watched what she called the ‘mothers and daughters of Zion’ going out on this rock, and she was frightened.  She looked and thought, ‘Oh my goodness, what have they done with their garments?  They don’t even have their garments on!’  She could see they didn’t have anything on their arms and legs–where she could see–and she became so frightened that she didn’t know what to do.  She just stood there terrified.  She said that more and more of the mothers and daughters of Zion kept pushing out onto this big rock, and then suddenly there was an awful crash, and when the dust cleared away, the rock was gone.  She ran over to the canyon to see what she could find, but there wasn’t a thing to be seen–just the big deep canyon.  When she closed the article, she said that something was going to happen to the women of our Church–they were the ones that were out on this rock.  It was a beautiful article.  One old lady had it, and she let me read it, but she didn’t believe a word of it.  And I said, ‘Well, if you don’t believe in it, sell me this copy.’  She said, ‘I will not do it.’  So she wouldn’t let me have that paper–I’d have given anything for it.  I’ve thought about that so much.  Our women have done this–the men folks didn’t do it.  The women did it.

Question:  Then how did the new style become the authorized garment later on?  Who did that?

Answer:  Joe Miller did it.  He put the name labels in them, and nobody said he couldn’t.  The Authorities of the Church did nothing about it.  The wife of Apostle Ballard (one of the finest men we’ve ever had) was making the garments for the girls.  They would wear the old style through the temple, but in the evening they took that off and put on a fancy affair of some kind.  There was quite a lot of talk about it, and it wasn’t accepted by most of the people.  But that’s when President Grant said that he was changing it, because the women would not wear it.  Our women have done all this.  I don’t know what’s going to happen to us all when we get there, but believe me, I’ve got mine on and I’m keeping them on (the original style).

Question:  Then President Grant made his changes before what you’ve been telling us about Joe Miller?

Answer:  Oh yes.  Pres. Grant announced his changes in the garment in the early 1920’s.  Joe Miller changed the garment style further in the early 1940’s.

              * * * 

It hasn’t been very long ago that someone was telling me about a relative of theirs–I don’t believe they were in Salt Lake (possibly in the Logan area)–but this man passed away, and his wife took a pair of garments down to the mortuary where he was being taken care of, and she laid the garments there for them to put on him.  Well, they didn’t put them on him–they put on one of these new kinds.  She said that night, after the services, her husband came right into the house to her.  She said she sat up in bed and he said, ‘I’m naked.  I’m naked.  Do something about it.  I’m naked.’  She couldn’t sleep any longer–so she went right to the mortuary, and the man said he had forgotten all about it.  He said, ‘We put that one on him for some reason, and then forgot to put the original style on, and they just lay there in the mortuary.’  So they dug him up and put the garments on him.  This happened not too long ago.

Comment:  They must be of great importance, then.

Response:  Yes, the garment is a very important thing.  Now, why is it?  The Lord gave the Prophet Joseph this pattern.  Two angels brought it to the Prophet Joseph–so it had to be very important to have that done.  And the Prophet Joseph had them wear it all the time.  When the Saints came to Utah, they all had the garments on.  Anyone that was a Latter-day Saint wore it.  And I’ve read that when the Saints were coming across the Missouri or the Mississippi River, the Prophet Joseph’s wife, Emma, ran on to the boat before it started out, and gave Hyrum Smith’s wife this garment and told her to take it with her as she (Emma) didn’t have any use for it.  And so she brought it with her.  Hyrum Smith’s wife is Pres. Smith’s mother.  So when you take into consideration where this garment came from, how it came here, then we should surely wear it.  There is a reason for it, or else it wouldn’t have been so important to the Saints in those days.

Question:  Where can we get one of those original patterns?  I don’t know what happened to mine.

Answer:  Well, I’ve got the original old garment pattern.

Question:  With the square collar?

Answer:  I don’t know whether it’s square–or kind of rounding here.  Now the square collar–I don’t remember whether it’s square.

Comment:  The original one that Joseph Smith got had a square collar, because I had the pattern and made dozens of them for my husband.

Response:  Yes, I think it did have a square collar.  When we used to make our garments, that’s what we made.  We always made our own.  I made mine and my husband’s.

Question:  They were just the same–for men and women–except for size?

Answer:  Yes.

Comment:  I’m sure I could cut another pattern.  I made enough of them.  But I can’t remember what I did with that pattern, and I can’t find anyone that has that original pattern.

Response:  Well, if I were you, I would cut the collar square.  Another thing, there are supposed to be only three pairs of strings on it.  I’ve had to cut off strings from mine–some of the have five sets of strings.  I don’t feel like I’m doing any damage when I cut the strings off, because they’re not supposed to be on there.

Comment:  They were supposed to have a free flowing leg and sleeve, too.  These that we’ve got out of the knit come right close to the ankles and wrists.  And they didn’t have all this in the back–for expansion and twist and everything.  They were just cut straight.

Response:  That’s true.

Comment:  They were a lot different from the old style garment that they use in the temple now.  they didn’t have that round peter pan collar that they have now.

Question:  What kind of clothes would you wear over them if you started wearing those kind of garments?

Answer:  You’d have to wear a higher neckline, longer sleeves clear to the wrist, and something to the ankles, or else roll them up–and I don’t think that’s right either.

Comment:  That’s true.  I’d like to tell you something else–how I know that this garment is true.  I used to get a little nervous here.  After  I got through building my home (I built it practically myself) and after I got all the bills and everything paid off, I had an elder come out and dedicate my house and the grounds.  I went away every winter and used to worry about it all the time.  Our bishop at that time lived a couple of blocks away, and he had a lot of cattle, and they were in everybody’s place constantly.  There were several nights that I was awakened in my bedroom by a noise–you could hear the cattle brush by the trees or something–and I never did that, ever, but something like a voice said, ‘This place is dedicated, and you’ve got on the garment.  All is well.’  I just went right back to sleep, and that’s all there was to it.  That’s the biggest comfort that I’ve got.

(Names of individuals concerned are on file.)”

(“A Discussion Relating to the Priesthood Garment with a former employee of the Salt Lake Knitting Works, May 2, 1972.”  Bergera notes)

Regulations concerning temple clothing for living and dead

“The Beehive Clothing Mills, a Church owned and operated manufacturing establishment, is the only organization authorized by the First Presidency to produce ceremonial temple clothing for both temple wear and burial of the dead who have received their endowments.  The Mills is also the only organization authorized to produce ‘authorized pattern’ garments. . . .

Worthy individuals who have received their endowments and who desire to make temple clothing for themselves or a family member may do so upon authorization of the stake or mission president.

Individuals not having received their own endowments but who have received recommends to go to the temple and who desire to make their own temple clothing may do so under the direction of the stake Relief Society president or mission supervisor. . . .

The Church has not seen fit to authorize individuals, as such, to make temple clothing for sale.  Were they to do so, it is feared that the matter would soon get out of control and there would not be the uniformity in design that must prevail.  This service is confined to the jurisdiction of the Beehive Clothing Mills. . . .

Because of the sacred character of temple clothing, Relief Society presidents should not permit Relief Society members to sew on temple clothing, including embroidering of aprons, during any Relief Society meeting or gathering.  The practice of a group of sisters meeting together at other times to make temple clothing for their own use is not approved.  Should a sister need help in making temple clothing, it would be given through the stake Relief Society president in the privacy of a home. . . .

A deceased person who is to be dressed in temple-burial clothing may be dressed by a family member who has received his or her endowment.  If a family requests dressing service from the Church, a man who has received his endowment would be assigned by the bishop to dress a man; a woman would be asigned by the Relief Society president to dress a woman.

In some areas only a licensed mortician, or his employee, is allowed to handle a deceased body.  Where such a regulation exists, a member of the family or an appropriate person assigned by the bishop or Relief Society president may carefully look over the clothing after the body is dressed to make sure that it has been properly placed on the body.  Morticians have always been willing to cooperate in this matter.  Some morticians permit a family member or an assigned person to be present at the time the temple clothing is placed on the body of the deceased person. . . .

When a viewing takes place under circumstances where a number of persons attending the viewing do not understand the sacred meaning of the clothing and thus might be led to question, authorization is granted to provide a plain white coverlet to be used only insofar as necessary to cover the apron itself.  Decision as to the use of such a coverlet would rest with the local priesthood authority, and an explanation regarding the decision would be made to the family.  (The coverlet is to be removed at the time the casket is closed.)”  (“Instructions for Making Temple Clothing and Clothing the Dead,” Distributed by The General Board of the Relief Society, 1972)

Jun.:  Lines of responsibility in temple work.

“It is the responsibility of members of the Church to seek out their direct-line ancestors (progenitors), complete the family units of such direct ancestors, and submit to the Genealogical Society the genealogical data to abe processed for temple ordinance work.  Temple work may be requested for persons who are collaterally related to the member of the Church, but this is an area of privilege and not an area of responsibility.

A line of responsibility may be changed if a special sealing has taken place involving a given individual during his lifetime.  This special sealing could have been the result of a multiple (i.e. second or subsequent) marriage, a divorce situation, or an adoption.  Problems with changed lines of responsibility should be referred to the Genealogical Society, which has received instructions from the First Presidency on how to handle such situations.”  (“The Priesthood Bulletin,” 8(3):6, Jun., 1972)

Dec.:  Issuance of temple recommends.

“Those who attend the temple take upon themselves sacred obligations to be obedient to the Lord.  They dedicate themselves to demonstrate that obedience by thought and action.  It is imperative that bishops and stake presidents recommend to the temple only those who show their wilingness to be obedient by cleanliness of body and mind, as demonstrated by their actions, speech, modesty or clothing, grooming of hair, and general tidiness.  They should demonstrate not the least spirit of rebellion or disobedience, or even the appearance thereof which could offend the sensibilities of others who attend the temple with them.  A spirit of unity, harmony, and love should characterize all those who receive recommends to attend the temple.”  (“The Priesthood Bulletin,” 8(6):1, Dec., 1972)