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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1987

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1987.” You can view other years here.

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TEMPLES, 1987.

1987:  6 Jun.:  Changed emphasis, back to work for one’s own.

“Concluding the interview, Elder [James E.] Faust said, ‘The change in focus that we’re trying to bring about is two-fold.  One:  We’re trying to move in the direction of all adults going to the temple for themselves and then for their own ancestors.  Two:  We’re trying to help members realize they do not need to become genealogical experts, but rather to have individuals and couples trained to assist members one on one.'”

(“Stake Conferences focus on temple, genealogy service,” CN, 6 Jun., 1987, p. 7)

6 Jun.:  Changes in genealogical materials, manuals.

“In administering the organizations of the Church, it is well ‘to see that all roads lead to the temple,’ Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve said last April.

That statement, given during the regional representatives seminar in connection with general conference, is the intent behind the Churchwide emphasis on temple and genealogical service during the last half of 1987 and the first half of 1988.

An array of new, simplified genealogical resources, new forms in an 8 1/2-by-11 inch size, and new procedures have been designed to enable Church members–even those with no previous training–to fulfill their genealogical responsibilities without necessarily becoming expert genealogists.

Church members will be guided as never before in identifying their ancestors and seeing that temple ordinances are performed for those ancestors.

Church leaders hope the new emphasis will help members understand the concept expressed at the seminar by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Council of the Twelve:

When genealogy work leads on to temple work, and when ordinances are received and covenants are kept, the family history we call genealogy becomes the means by which we are sealed into our eternal family and receive exaltation.

The new helps will be presented to priesthood leaders at stake conferences.  The June through December conferences will focus on Church members going to the temple for themselves and their immediate families.  Then, from January through May 1988, the focus will shift to genealogy–turning the hearts of the children to their fathers–and attending the temple for ancestors.

Central to the new materials being presented at stake conferences is a 40-page booklet entitled Come Unto Christ through Temple Ordinances and Covenants (Distribution Center stock number PBGS 153A).

Intended to replace the genealogy instruction manual, From You to Your Ancestors, the new book contains fundamental and simplified information on temple work and genealogy.  Copies are to be given to locak priesthood leaders in the leadership session of stake conferences during the second half of 1987, and are available at Church distribution centers.

Included in the booklet are sections entitled ‘Temple Blessings for You and Your Immediate Family,’ ‘Temple Blessings for Your Ancestors,’ and ‘Examples of Forms and Where to Get Help.’

The purpose of temples, including the endowment and sealings, is explained in the booklet, and suggestions are given on preparing spiritually to go to the temple.  Instructions on filling out pedigree chargs and family group records, and on determining what temple ordinances need to be performed and on submitting names for temple work are also included.

Detachable copies of the new forms and a one-sheet guide, ‘Temple and Genealogical Service: Instructions for Leaders,’ are contained at the end of the booklet.

The guide is also available separately and lists the duties of the stake president and bishop, the assigned high council who serves as stake temple and genealogical adviser, the high priests group leaders (ward temple and genealogical advisers), and the ward temple and genealogical consultants.

Many Church members will find the new family group and pedigree forms more convenient because of their 8 1/2-by-11-inch (letter) size and vertical format.  However, the traditional, horizontal 8 1/2-by-14-inch (legal) size forms will still be printed for those who prefer to use them and the book of remembrance binders that accommodate them.

The new forms, Distribution Center stock numbers, and descriptions are as follows:

New Pedigree Chart (PFGS 3093).  It includes complete genealogical information for four generations (15 names) and boxes to be checked, indicating whether each temple ordinance has been submitted or completed for the ancestor, whether all ordinances have been completed for all of his or her children, and whether a family group record exists for the couple.  The chart fits standard three-ring binders.

New Family Group Record Form (PFGS 3107).  It is now the primary form for submitting names for proxy temple ordinances.  (In the past, three different forms were required to clear names for temple ordinances.)  It includes space for all four ordinances for each person (baptism, endowment, sealing to spouse and sealing to parents) and space for the places of marriage and death for each child.  It also fits standard-sized binders.  A single sheet of instructions for completing the form and for the names submission process (PXGS 3033) accompanies each packet of 25 blank family group record forms.

New Ordinance Pedigree Chart in four parts (PFGS 3173).  It provides space for the names of ancestors in the third through eighth generations, and indicates whether ordinances have been completed for direct-line family members.  The chart displays the eight generations simply and clearly.  Each part begins with the name of a different grandparent: father’s father, father’s mother, mother’s father and mother’s mother.  Ordinances still needed can be quickly determined.  Included is a one-sheet overview explaining the purposes of the chart and how to use it.

A booklet entitled Submitting Names for Temple Ordinances: Instructions for Genealogical Leaders (PBGS 1391) will be available in August 1987.  It will inform temple and genealogical leaders of the recent changes made to simplify the process of submitting names for temple work.  It explains the five steps in the names submission process, what temple work will be done from the information submitted and Church policy on exceptions to the normal names submission process.

An important goal of the year-long emphasis period is to provide help at every turn for those willing to try to fulfill their temple and genealogical responsibilities.

At the regional representatives seminar, Elder James E. Faust of the Council of the Twelve said, ‘We are also hoping to make it easier for everyone with little training to find their own forefathers and receive the temple ordinances in their behalf.’

To that end, reneded emphasis will be placed on the calling of ward temple and genealogical consultants to help members locate their ancestors.  The specialists will be trained using a simplified resource manual.

The consultants will function under the direction of a high councilor assigned as the stake temple and genealogical adviser, and high priests group leaders as ward temple and genealogical advisers.

Each member will be urged to begin immediately by finding at least one ancestor and receive the temple ordinances in behalf of that ancestor.”  (“In the Church, all roads should lead to temple,” CN, 6 Jun., 1987, pp. 8-9)

13 Jun.:  No set requirement for temple work, “not really trying to pressure.”

“New temples–anchors of strength

“…If we could get a significant number of those people to enter into the full activity of the temple, then automatically we would se an increase in work for redemption of the dead.

“We are not really trying to pressure those members who are now working their hearts out in the gospel to redouble their temple activity.  Many of them are using all the time they have available anyway,” he said.

“There is a need for every adult member of the Church to go as frequently as possible to the temple, to be in touch with the Spirit…If the temple is available, they should try to be there at least every month–or as often as is appropriate for them–but there is no set requirement.”  (Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter interview with Church News, 13 Jun 1987, p. 3)

Appropriate dress for temple attendance.

“Bishops and stake presidents are asked to remind those who attend the temple about the importance of dressing appropriately.  Brethren and sisters should wear clothing that is appropriate for sacrament meeting when they go to the temple.  This instruction may be emphasized during the temple recommend interview.”

(“Bulletin,” No. 1987-1)

Brown two-piece garments for military.

“Be advised that a two-piece temple garment, dyed and specially treated, for endowed members entering or serving in the U. S. Army is available through garment distribution outlets.  The brown garment should be worn only with the battle dress uniform as required.  A white two-piece, crew-neck, T-shirt type garment is also available.”  (“Bulletin,” No. 1987-1)

New instructions for clothing the dead.

“A new booklet containing instructions for clothing the dead is available at the Church distribution centers.  Distribution of this booklet, titled Instructions for Clothing the Dead Who Have Received Their Endowments (PERS0135; no charge), should be limited to stake presidents, mission presidents, temple presidents, bishops, and Relief Society presidents.”  (“Bulletin,” No. 1987-1)

Emphasis on temple and genealogical service.

“Priesthood leaders should prepare now for a churchwide emphasis on temple and genealogical service beginning the last half of 1987.  Stake conferences will emphasize temple service during the second half of 1987 and genealogical service during the first half of 1988.

A substantial effort is under way to simplify genealogical work–to make it easier for the average member of the Church to do.  Members are encouraged to begin by identifying at least one ancestor for whom they can receive temple ordinances.  Priesthood leaders should assure members that they do not need to be trained genealogists to perform this service.  Just as members receive help from called workers in the temple, they will receive help from called workers as they seek to identify their ancestors.

Priesthood leaders should call and train key temple and genealogical leaders for this emphasis.  These positions and their resonsibilities are outlined in the single sheet of instructions ‘Temple and Genealogical Service: Instructions for Leaders.’  This one-sheet guide helps priesthood leaders prepare for the churchwide emphasis on temple and genealogical service by stating what they should emphasize and teach, whom they should call and train, and what the new resources are available to assist them.  The guide lists the duties of–

1. The stake president and bishop.

2. The assigned high councilor who serves as stake temple and genealogical adviser.

3. The high priests group leaders (ward temple and genealogical advisers).

4. The ward temple and genealogical consultants.

The guide is included in the booklet Come unto Christ through Temple Ordinances and Covenants, listed below.

Other important new materials have also been prepared to encourage and help simplify member involvement in temple and genealogical service.  These materials (listed below) will soon be available in all Church distribution centers.”  (“Bulletin,” No. 1987-5)

Simplified procedure for names submission.

“Names submission is a key part of the 1987-88 churchwide emphasis on temple and genealogical service.  To facilitate this effort, the process of submitting names for temple ordinances has been simplified in five major ways.

Details will be provided in Submitting Names for Temple Ordinances: Instructions for Genealogical Leaders.”  (“Bulletin,” No. 1987-5)