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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1975

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1975.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1975.

1975:  5 Apr.:  Geneal. Soc. supplies 77% of names for temples.

“As new temples are being constructed in ever greater rapidity, we are faced with the problem of keeping them in operation.  The Genealogical Society can gather names to keep the temples operating, but the Genealogical Society cannot do the research work of establishing family lines of priesthood heritage which God has assigned the priesthood to do.  The Society does not have, and cannot obtain, all the records which are open to individuals.  At the present time, the Genealogical Society is furnishing 77 percent of all the names officiated for in the temple.  The balance is furnished through family research.  It is your personal, individual missionary responsibility to see that your direct-line ancestors have been baptized, endowed, and sealed in proper family order.”  (Theodore M. Burton, 5 Apr., 1975; CR Apr., 1975, p. 106)

5 Apr.:  Deficits in male endowments.

“There is another aspect of the work for the salvation of the dead which is causing a problem in the temples.  More males are born and reach the age of accountability than females.  This means that more Aaronic Priesthood members must go to the temple than their sisters to be baptized for the dead, and it also means that brethren of the Melchizedek Priesthood must go to the temple more frequently than their wives.  Unless more priesthood members go to the temple as individuals, or as quorums, to get this male ordinance work done, the male names will backlog in the temples.  When that happens, the sealing of families cannot be completed.

Temple presidents are faced with a serious problem.  We don’t want to hinder in any way our sisters from attending the temple, so we must increase male temple attendance.  Just as you go as individual men or as quorums to work on welfare projects without taking your wives with you, so we want you to go as individual men or as priesthood quorums or groups on extra trips to the temples to keep this problem solved.  I appeal to you to cooperate with your temple presidents to keep male and female names in balance.”  (Theodore M. Burton, 5 Apr., 1975; CR Apr., 1975, p. 106)

30 May:  Divorce clearance for temple recommends.

“The First Presidency has issued the following statement which supplements and supersedes instruction contained in the General Handbook of Instructions, no. 20, 1968, page 93:

If there has been a divorce or an annulment of the marriage of persons sealed to each other in the temple, clearance by the First Presidency must first be obtained before a temple recommend can be issued to such persons.  This also applies to individuals who have been divorced from a civil marriage if they have been endowed and previously sealed in the temple.

Divorces from civil marriages where the individual has not been previously endowed and sealed in the temple should be cleared by the bishop and stake president or branch president and mission president.”

(“Messages . . .” No. 15, 30 May, 1975)

3 Oct.:  Q&A about garments.


October 3, 1975


1. Question: Is it permissible to make copies of the instructions for making the men’s one-piece suit and give them to each Ward Relief Society President?

Answer: No. The supervision of making the one-poiece temple suit is under the direction of the Stake Relief Society President, who has the instructions.

2. Question: Are all garment distribution centers to charge the same retail prices for garments shown on the price lists sent out by the Relief Society General Board?

Answer: Yes. Garments are to be sold for the same retail price worldwide.

3. Question: Is there a booklet available to instruct endowed members concerning the wearing of the sacred garments? If not, who is responsible for answering questions about how the sacred garments should be worn?

Answer: No. The regulations for the wearing of authorized pattern garments are set by the First Presidency of the Church. Full instructions with regard to this are given in the temple at the time one receives his or her endowments. Individual questions should be referred to his/her priesthood authority.

It is not within the jurisdiction of Relief Society to give instructions relative to the wearing of the garments or to authorize any modification of the instructions given by the First Presidency.

4. Question: When a garment representative fits the individual for garments before his/her endowments have been received, is it proper for the garment representative to tell him/her that the garment should fall to the knee?

Answer: Yes. It is permissible to inform patrons that the authorized pattern garment should fall to the knee.

5. Question: Our new stake presidency feels it is my job to tell the sisters that they are not supposed to take tucks in the legs of their garments or at the waistline to make them shorter. I feel this is not the responsibility of the Relief Society President. Will you clarify this for us?

Answer: See answer to question No. 3.

6. Question: May individuals purchase burial sets from local garment distributions centers?

Answer: Yes. Church members are free to purchase burial sets from any Relief Society Temple Clothing Center.

7. Question: May Ward Relief Society presidents obtain one men’s and one women’s burial set and store in a locked closet at the Church for emergencies?

Answer: It is preferred that burial sets be handled on a stake basis in order to rotate the burial clothing more frequently. A stake should keep on hand at least one man’s and one woman’s medium size burial set. In most instances two each of men’s and women’s burial sets should be kept on hand for emergencies, and reordered immediately upon their use in the stake.

Multiple centers should carry at least three medium and one large burial set for men and three medium sets for women. The medium size fits most individuals.

8. Question: May individuals be buried in their regular temple clothing that has been worn to the temple?

Answer: Yes, with the exception of the shoes. A special moccasin is used in place of the regular temple-wear shoe.

9. Question: May instructions for dressing the dead in the sacred clothing be mailed, and may they be included with the clothing that endowed members request before death in order to be sure they have it when needed?

Answer: Stake/mission/district Relief Society Presidents may request copies of “Directions for Clothing the Dead Who Have Received Their Endowments” to be mailed to them from the Relief Society General Board. These copies, however, are for distribution to ward and branch Relief Society presidents only, and are not to be included with burial clothing purchased by individuals.

10. Question: Whose responsibility is it to oversee the dressing of the endowed members for burial?

Answer: 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 assiged 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.

11. Question: May a class in proper procedure for dressing of the dead who have received their endowments be held for wards? There are some sisters who are not even aware that they would be dressed in the sacred clothing when they pass away.

Answer: It would not be necessary, as full instructions for dressing the dead may be obtained from the Relief Society General Board upon request from Stake Relief Society Presidents for distribution to the wards under their jurisdiction.

12. Question:How do you order emergency burial clothing?

Answer: Emergency orders for burial clothing are to be placed with Beehive Clothing Mills Mondays thru Fridays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. MST (801) 486-2111. The Relief Society General Board will fill emergency orders for burial clothing on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and evenings. Phone (810) 531- 2531. Tell the operator the call is for emergency burial clothing. Be sure to have the necessary measurements ready before making the call. Retail prices will be charged other distribution outlets by the Relief Society General Board Center, as they operate on a retail basis. The clothing will be sent the fastest way possible.

13. Question: Mortuaries place a protective plastic panty on bodies. Is it all right to place the sacred clothing over it?

Answer: Yes. In many cases this is necessary to protect the sacred clothing. It is also a law in some states.

14. Question: How do you dispose of worn or discarded garments and temple clothing?

Answer: Under no circumstances is the sacred clothing to be given to any organization, including the Deseret Industries. Garments and temple clothing that are freshly laundered and in good condition for wear, but for which an individual no longer has use, may be given to an endowed relative or to a bishop for welfare purposes.

When garments are too worn for use, the marks of the priesthood should be cut from the garment and either shredded with the scissors or burned. The fabric of which the garments were made then have no further significance as sacred clothing of the Church, and may be used for other purposes if desired, after rendering it unrecognizable as an article of clothing. The authorized pattern label in the garment should also be cut off and destroyed, or kept for future reference concerning size and style.

When discarding temple clothing, the significant identifying features of the robe, cap and veil are to be removed and destroyed. The fabric could then be cut so as not to be recognized as the sacred clothing and used for other purposes if desired.

When discarding the apron, the entire apron should be [illegible].

15. Question: What is the ruling on sisters making their own or their husband’s temple garments?

Answer: Worthy individuals who have received their own endowments may make garments for themselves or a family member upon authorization of the stake or mission president.

The Church does not issue patterns for garments, nor does it issue instructions for making them. The individual would use a pair of garments bearing the Authorized Pattern label for a pattern. There should be no modification in the design or length of the sacred garment as specified by The First Presidency. Any violation of this regulation is an individual responsibility. Authorized Pattern Garments are an item of temple clothing, and the same regulations apply to them as set forth in the booklet, “Instructions for Making Temple Clothing and Clothing the Dead.”

16. Question: Is it permissible for sisters to put zippers in garments, either for nursing purposes, or in the ceremonial garments to be worn to the temple?

Answer: Any modification of the authorized pattern garment is to [be] handled on an individual basis. Requests for modification of the sacred garment are to be submitted to the office of The First Presidency.

17. Question: Is it permissible for sisters to have a mini-class on temple clothing in a room away from other groups?

Answer: No. Temple clothing is not to be made in Relief Society meetings, gatherings, or special groups, and is not to be discussed in any such groups. 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.

18. Question: When a stake included in a Multiple Distribution Center is divided, does the new stake Relief Society president become a member of the executive committee?

Answer: Yes, if there are less than five stakes in the multiple center. Otherwise, only three become members of the committee. Area Center committees are appointed by the Relief Society General Presidency.

19. Question: Is there any provision made for postage, envelopes, and occasional parcel post (returns) and other minor expenses for the Ward garment representatives?

Answer: Yes. The stake garment representative should send the ward garment representative a three months supply of self- addressed stamped envelopes, using stake garment funds. Ward garment representatives should be reimbursed by the stake garment representatives for other minor expenses related to the program.

20. Question: When garments are returned to the Beehive Clothing Mills due to a flaw, where do we get the postage money to return it to Salt Lake?

Answer: From the Stake Garment Fund.

21. Question: Does the patron pay the postage on burial sets?

Answer: Yes, if the burial clothing is mailed to the patron from a Relief Society Temple Clothing Center.

22. Question: How do mail-order stakes handle the charging of postage to patrons? They pay for the garments ahead of time — but what about the postage? How do we know how much it will be?

Answer: A postage chart was sent to stakes, missions, and districts showing the amount of postage required for mailing garments from the various postal zones in the United States. If the full amount for postage is not remitted at the time of order, a note could be enclosed with the garments informing the patron of the postage due. Patrons usually respond.

23. Question: Who pays the postage for the garments and temple clothing mailed from the Beehive Clothiong Mills to the Relief Society outlet? Does the patron pay this as well as postage from the outlet to the individual?

Answer: The Beehive Clothing Mills includes the amount of postage paid for delivery to distribution outlets on the monthly statements. The Relief Society outlet pays the total amount of the statement, including the postage.

The patron pays the postage from the Relief Society outlet to the individual when it is necessary to mail it to him/her from the outlet.

24. Question: Are the new monthly report forms supposed to be completed as of the 25th of each month or the end of the month as previously done?

Answer: Monthly reports are to be completed and mailed by the 25th of each month in order to be included in the Financial Department’s monthly computerized report of all Relief Society outlets.

25. Question: Do we ask the bank to use the 25th of each month as a cut-ff date for the bank statement?

Answer: No. Use the Garment Account checkbook balance as of the date the report is prepared.

26. Question: Does the Relief Society President have to sign the monthly stake reports?

Answer: No, but the Relief Society president should be acquainted with the progress of the Garment and Temple Clothing Program in her stake/mission/district by periodically reviewing the reports.

27. Question: May we order special-made garments from a Relief Society Center instead of our garment representative if we feel it would be faster?

Answer: Yes. Either a garment representative or a Relief Society Center manager may order special-made garments for an individual. Care must be taken to be measured correctly as special made garments are not returnable. Patrons must be sure measurements are satisfactory before the order is placed. Special-made garments are only made in even numbers–two, four, six, etc., and take approximately six weeks for delivery. A file is kept in Relief Society outlets on special- made garments for future reference.

28. Question: What are we to do with obsolete items in our inventory that do not sell–such as skinny ties, flocked aprons and short dresses?

Answer: This must be handled on an individual Relief Society outlet basis by their submitting inventory of such items to the Relief Society General Board.

29. Question: May a sister order garments direct from the stake garment representative rather than to go through the ward representative if it is more convenient?

Answer: Yes. Individuals may purchase garments wherever it is most convenient, or may go through the stake garment representative if it is simpler to do so.


Stake and Ward order books are to be ordered through the Beehive Clothing Mills at no charge.

Garment Ledgers and Cash Receipt and Cash Disbursement pages are to be ordered through the Relief Society General Board. The Ledger is $7.50, the Cash Reciept pages are 5c| each and Cash Disbursement pages 3c| each.

Sales slips are available through the Relief Society General Board. The blank heading tickets are $9.50 per thousand. Special sales slips for the larger Relief Society Centers with name, address and telephone numbers printed on them are to be ordered through the Relief Society. Allow approximately six weeks for delivery.

Whenever there is a change in garment representatives, the Beehive Clothing Mills is to be notified immediately, as orders will not be honored from garment representatives who have not been authorized in writing by the Relief Society presidents.”  (Garment and Temple Clothing Program Meeting; October 3, 1975; Bergera collection)

4 Oct.:  Concerning the endowment.

“In our temples we learn of the great truths of the gospel.  The temple endowment provides information concerning the story of man on earth and the means and methods whereby joy on earth and exaltation in heaven may be obtained.  The temple endowment also gives special information relative to the required conduct of man if he is to enjoy the fruits of progression and reach his possible destiny.  Men and women are taught that they must keep themselves free from sin, that they must be chaste, virtuous, truthful, and unselfish.  Moreover, they are taught that they must devote themselves and all that they have to the great cause of truth, to the teaching of the everlasting gospel to their fellowmen.

Those who receive their endowments and receive this high knowledge, make covenants with God that they will observe the instructions given and carry them out in their daily lives.  It is also explained that those who fail to carry out the promises made in the temple will be punished of God, but that great blessings will follow those who accept the truth, practice it, and live the gospel as they should.”  (William H. Bennett, 4 Oct., 1975; CR Oct., 1975, p. 68)

10 Nov.:  “Street garments” permitted in temples. 

“In the future, while involved in temple ordinances, patrons will have the option of wearing either the ‘approved style’ garment (short sleeve and knee length) or the garment with the long sleeve and long leg.

Patrons receiving their initiatory ordinances may be clothed in their own ‘approved style’ garment.

It is suggested that temple presidents not purchase any more of the long-sleeve, long-leg garments for rental purposes.

This may be announced to all temple workers and posted on the bulletin boards in the locker rooms.  Notice is going forward to Stake, Mission, and District Presidents suggesting that they notify Bishops, Branch Presidents and other priesthood leaders.  No other announcement or publicity is desired.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter to All Temple Presidents, 10 Nov., 1975)

10 Nov:  SL Temple response to changes in garment.


November 10, 1975

  Bulletin #102

TO: ALL SUPERVISORS (Brethren and Sisters)

RE: Temple Garment

We have received a letter, of even date herewith, from The First Presidency, addressed to “All Temple Presidents”, which, in part, reads as follows:

In the future, while involved in temple ordinances, patrons will have the option of wearing either the `approved style’ garment (short sleeve and knee length) or the garment with the long sleeve and long leg.

Patrons receiving their initiatory ordinances may be clothed in their own `approved style’ garment.

Notice of this change is going out from The First Presidency to Stake, Mission and District Presidencies, suggesting that they notify Bishops, Branch Presidents and other priesthood leaders. Consequently, patrons may come to the temple very soon, expecting to go into the initiatory ordinance room and on the session wearing the “approved style garment”.

Therefore, effective immediately, patrons must be given the option of wearing either (1) the garment heretofore required in the temple or (2) the “approved style”.

All temple workers should be familiar with this change in order that neither the temple worker nor the patron will be embarrassed or offended.

Supervisors are requested to read this bulletin in all meetings, beginning immediately, and to post same on the bulletin boards.

The letter from The First Presidency will be posted on bulletin boards and in the locker rooms of the temple.

Faithfully yours,


/s/ John S.[?] Edwards

/s/ Jasmine R. Edwards /s/ Edward H. Sorenson

Matron /s/ Selvoy Y. Boyer

/s/ Lillian H. Ferguson /s/ William H. Bennett

Assistant Matron Assistant to the President

cc: President Spencer W. Kimball

The Temple Committee”

(Bulletin #102 to all Supervisors; Salt Lake Temple; November 10, 1975; Bergera collection)

12 Nov.:  Provo Temple response to policy on garments.


Volume 5 #7

Date: November 12, 1975

TO: All Temple Supervisors, Directors and Workers

RE: Temple Garment

This announcement from the Frist Presidency was received by the Provo Temple Presidency, November 12, 1975:

“Dear Brethren:

In the future, while involved in temple ordinances, patrons will have the option of wearing either the “approved style” garment (short sleeve and knee length) or the garment with the long sleeve and long leg.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This may be announced to all temple workers and posted on the bulletin boards in the locker rooms. Notice is going forward to Stake, Mission, and District Presidents suggesting that they notify Bishops, Branch Presidents and other priesthood leaders. No other announcement or publicity is desired.

Faithfully yours,

/s/ Spencer W. Kimball

/s/ N. Eldon Tanner

/s/ Marion G. Romney

  The First Presidency”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

*In the case of regular proxies doing initiatory work in the Provo Temple, we will use the convenient long legged ceremonial garment.


/s/ Harold Glen Clark

Harold Glen Clark, President

/s/ Joseph Y. Toronto

Joseph Y. Toronto, 1stCounselor

/s/ O. Wendle Nielsen

O. Wendle Nielsen, 2nd Counselor

(Provo Temple Bulletin, Vol 5, #7; November 12, 1975; Bergera collection)

Conducting a worthiness interview.

“The questions in the temple recommend book must be asked of every person who obtains or renews a temple recommend.  The questions on the forms for Melchizedek Priesthood ordination must be asked of every person considered for ordination in the priesthood.  Many of the same questions shoiuld be asked in other interviews in which worthiness must be determined, including interviews for–

Recommends for performing ordinances.

Recommends for baptism.

Recommends for patriarchal blessings.

Recommends for missionary service.

Ordinations in the Aaronic Priesthood.

Callings in the Church.

A careful interview is essential to determine worthiness.  The bishop should make sure the member understands the questions by–

Asking questions that are specific enough for the member to show his worthiness.

Explaining terms, if necessary.

Adjusting the questions to the understanding of the member.  (For example, when asking young people if they are morally clean, the bishop should not go into unnecessary detail; he may arouse curiosity and invite experimentation.)

The bishop should be especially thorough in interviewing prospective missionaries, those receive their own endowments, couples being married in the temple, and any others he feels prompted to interview searchingly.  He should ask specific questions and define terms whenever necessary.

The bishop should determine whether the member has been involved in any of the following that have not been confessed to the proper priesthood authority and resolved:

Pre- or extra-marital sexual intercourse.

Homosexual practices and other sexual deviations (such as incest, sodomy, bestiality).

Petting (the fondling of another’s body).


Bishops need to seek the spirit of discernment in determining worthiness.  Answers such as ‘I think so’ or ‘I believe so’ may suggest that the question was not completely understood.  Hesitation or uneasiness may suggest that a question needs to be pursued further.  Even though the member may give no outward indication that a problem exists, the Spirit may reveal that further discussion is necessary.

To give the member a full opportunity to declare his worthiness, the bishop could ask: ‘Do you know of any reason why I should not sign this recommend for you?’ ‘Is there anything else you would like to discuss?’  ‘Do you have any questions?'”  (Bishop’s Guide, 1975, p. 20)