|Vol. 6, No. 4 - Apr. 2009
Joseph F. Buchanan
We also have ancestors who loved the temple and its blessings and saw the power of those blessings in their lives. Though they did not write very much about it, the data shows their love of the temple and their dedication to temple worship and the desire for the endowment and sealing powers.
The Nauvoo temple was started soon after the beleaguered saints reached the swamp- and mosquito-infested bend of the Mississippi River in Illinois. I will not outline the massive work effort spent in building that beautiful edifice.
After the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve pressed the saints to finish the temple, knowing that they would soon have to abandon it. A few select people were allowed to receive the endowment and sealing blessings, as early as 1842 in the upper floor of the Prophet's Red Brick Store in Nauvoo. The saints needed the strength of temple blessings to help them through the coming perilous years of migration.
Reneé Mounteer, in her Shadrach Roundy book, detailed this experience: "On 10 December 1845, the first endowments were given in the Nauvoo Temple. [Documentary History of the Church, vol. viii, p 541] The saints wanted to get their endowments so badly that they worked day and night to help as many of the saints as possible get their endowments and sealings. Some sisters volunteered to wash the soiled endowment clothing during the night so as not to slow down the numbers of saints getting their endowments." - "Shadrach and Betsey Roundy, Their Roots and Their Legacy" Mounteer, p 161
"On 3 February, Brigham Young was determined to get his wagons and be off, but he stayed and continued to serve those who were desperate for the endowments. The work in the temple continued through 8 February. By that time, over 5000 saints had received their endowments and many of those had been sealed in eternal marriage." - ibid p 164
A quote from the history of John L. Buchanan gives some details: "During the next eighteen months the work on the Nauvoo Temple went rapidly forward. As soon as the basement portion was completed, baptismal ordinances for the dead were performed. Late in 1845 the endowment ordinances began to be performed for worthy members of the Church followed by sealing of spouses. Although John [Buchanan, jr.] himself did not have the privilege of sharing in temple ordinance work at that time, he shared the spirit of it as he rejoiced with his mother and older sisters who received their endowments and also did some baptisms for the dead. ... All of the family attended meetings to hear Brigham Young and other Church leaders counsel them on gospel principles. Meanwhile young John Buchanan took advantage of opportunities to be part of the preparations that were being made for the exodus from Nauvoo. Mob threats and violence were escalating. John's skills increased as he participated in building wagons from wood and iron which would be serviceable for the long journey to the Rocky Mountains. Much planning and effort was made for equipment, tools, food and other supplies to maintain his mother's family the anticipated journey." - "Ancestry of John Lorenzo Buchanan and Julia Ann Zufelt" by Buchanan and Jeffery, p 62
The following details our ancestors and some of their family members who received temple work in the Nauvoo Temple:
Endowment: 16 Dec 1845 Buchanan, Elizabeth Endowment: 16 Dec 1845 Coolidge, Joseph Wellington sealed as a couple 22 Jan 1846 [did not come to Utah] Endowment: 16 Dec 1845 Parker, John Davis Endowment: 16 Dec 1845 Roundy, Almeda Sophia Endowment: 25 Dec 1845 Roundy, Samantha John was sealed to both (married) 3 Feb 1846 Endowment: 25 Dec 1845 Roundy, Shadrach Endowment: 25 Dec 1845 Quimby, Betsey sealed as a couple 22 Jan 1846 Betsey Quimby (H.C.Kimball officiating) Endowment: 25 Dec 1845 Roundy, Laurette Endowment: 7 Jan 1846 Roundy, Lauren Hotchkiss Endowment: 7 Jan 1846 Carter, Johanna (she died 5 Feb 1847 in Winter Quarters) sealed as couple 18 Apr 1853 (she by proxy) in The President's Office, at same time he was married and sealed to Jane Ann Koyle, sealed again 1 Jul 1865 in the Endowment House Endowment: 22 Jan 1846 Roundy, Lorenzo Wesley Endowment: 22 Jan 1846 Whiting, Adeline sealed as couple 31 Jan 1846 Endowment: 22 Jan 1846 Curtis, Simmons Philander Endowment: 22 Jan 1846 Buchanan, Emmeline sealed as couple 9 Jul 1854 in Salt Lake City* Endowment: 27 Jan 1846 Buchanan, Nancy Ann Bach (sealed to Isaac Morley) Endowment: 2 Feb 1846 Parrish, Samuel Endowment: 2 Feb 1846 Dack, Frances (Fanny) sealed as couple (she by proxy) 6 May 1856 Endowment House Endowment: 3 Feb 1846 Wallace, Suzannah sealed (married as second wife) to Lorenzo Wesley Roundy 29 Mar 1852 in Salt Lake City* Endowment: 6 Feb 1846 NV Roundy, Jared Curtis sealed to Lovisa Jenne 22 Oct 1852 (married 26 Feb 1852) in Salt Lake City* Endowment: 6 Feb 1846 NV Dack, James died 20 Apr 1850 Mounty Pisgah, Iowa Endowment: 7 Feb 1846 NV Parish, Lydia (died 1846 Lee Co. Iowa) Endowment: 7 Feb 1846 NV Parrish, Joel sealed to Elizabeth Bratton (married) 16 Jul 1854 in Salt Lake City** These are listed in my records as having taken place in the Endowment House, but the Endowment House was not dedicated for use until May 5, 1855. Temple ordinances, prior to this date, were performed in various places, usually in "The President's Office" or on Ensign Peak.
The saints had a brief time when they were able to enjoy the blessings of the temple. Then it was gone. Those who joined the church in distant lands had even longer to wait and farther to go, since they missed this two month opportunity. As mentioned in the footnote above, a few were given special opportunities prior to the Endowment House completion, but those were not common. It was nearly ten years from the departure from Nauvoo until the Endowment House was ready. Many of our ancestors were called to go to distant parts of Deseret, so it was hard to get to the Endowment House at all. The Endowment House functioned up to 1889 when President Wilford Woodruff had it dismantled, a few years prior to the completion of the Salt Lake Temple.
Following are some of our ancestors who were able to receive ordinances in the Endowment House, including a few quotes from histories of some of them:
Endowment: 6 May 1856 Parrish, Prisella sealed to spouse (married as 3rd wife) 22 Apr 1857 Lorenzo Wesley Roundy "She spent a good deal of her later life working [in] the Temple. She worked for 50 names of her own besides much work for charity." - Prisella Parrish biography Endowment: 21 May 1856 Davies, William Rees sealed to spouse 21 May 1856 Rachel Morris (She was an aunt to Rachel Maria Davies) Endowment: 13 Sep 1861 Davies, John Johnson Endowment: 13 Sep 1861 Davies, Rachel Maria (her parents died on the way to Utah) sealed as couple 13 Sep 1861 in the Endowment House"I helped build the Endowment House and also the foundation of that great temple. When I was working here, I had a terrible blow. One of the large blocks of rock slipped down to the foundation and struck one of the levers and it came in such a force and struck me on the side of my head, senseless to the ground. The brethren administered to me and I got better. The superintendent of the work was Brother Daniel H. Wells." - John Johnson Davies autobiography.
Endowment: 11 Oct 1869 Buchanan, Archibald Waller Overton Endowment: 11 Oct 1869 Whiting, Helen Amelia Endowment: 11 Oct 1869 Brown, Mary Ann Endowment: 11 Oct 1869 Larsen/Pedersen, Ane Marie He was sealed to these three wives on 11 Oct 1869 in the Endowment House Endowment: 13 Oct 1874 Sorensen, Hans Endowment: 13 Oct 1874 Nielsen, Ane sealed as couple 13 Oct 1874 in the Endowment House Endowment: 12 Oct 1874 Sorensen, Jorgen Endowment: 27 Sep 1875 Sorensen, Caroline Sophia sealed to spouse (married as 4th wife) 27 Sep 1875, Archibald Waller Overton BuchananAs the Manti temple was dedicated in 1888, much of the family started to be involved in temple work there. Histories include numerous references (including the one above for Prisella Parrish) to family history research and temple work done. After many years, the blessings found in the temple could be enjoyed by many, not only for the living ordinances, but also reviewed many times over as they could now do the work for deceased ancestors.
Today we have so many temples around us, we can also enjoy these blessings without taking more than a few hours of our day.