Archie Earl Buchanan/Florene Davis Genealogy

Vol. 6, No. 4 - Apr. 2009
Prepared by

Joseph F. Buchanan
7472 Silver Circle
West Jordan, UT 84084
(801) 566-1083

Our Ancestors' Desire for Temple Blessings

In the most recent General Conference, Elder Scott spoke of temple blessings as "The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need" and mentioned one of his wife's ancestors: "Her commentary shows the impact that the temple can have in our lives. When she was 31 years old, she received a calling from Brigham Young to work in the Nauvoo Temple, where all the ordinances possible were performed before the Saints had to abandon that temple." His quote from her is: "Many were the blessings we had received in the house of the Lord, which has caused us joy and comfort in the midst of all our sorrows and enabled us to have faith in God, knowing He would guide us and sustain us in the unknown journey that lay before us. For if it had not been for the faith and knowledge that was bestowed upon us in that temple by the influence and help of the Spirit of the Lord, our journey would have been like one taking a leap in the dark. To start out on such a journey in the winter as it were and in our state of poverty, it would seem like walking into the jaws of death. But we had faith in our Heavenly Father, and we put our trust in Him feeling that we were His chosen people and had embraced His gospel, and instead of sorrow, we felt to rejoice that the day of our deliverance had come." (See

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.
Note: At about this time, he also wove carpets for the Salt Lake Tabernacle. He was a weaver by profession in Wales.
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 Buchanan
As 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.

This is the last issue of the Buchanan Newsletters I will be writing. I hope you have enjoyed them. It has been an interesting 6-year experience. Look to the web site for added photos, histories and news about research.