|Vol. 5, No. 1 - April 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.
According to the Documentary History of the Church, vol. viii, p 541, the first endowments were given in the Nauvoo Temple on December 10, 1845. The people worked hard to get to this point and at last, there was a part of the temple that was ready for this to be presented to larger groups of people. Sisters worked during the night, when the temple work was through for the day, to clean the clothes for use the next day. This continued as fast as was possible for the next two months. With persecution mounting and the need to leave Illinois pressing, the work in the temple continued through 8 February when the migration began in earnest. On the 9th, there was a fire that did considerable damage to the temple. No more temple work was done after that date, though some meetings were held in usable parts of the temple. By that time, over 5000 saints had received their endowments and many of those had been sealed in eternal marriage.
The following details our ancestors and some of their family members who received temple work in the Nauvoo Temple:
Endowment: 23 Jan 1846 Green, Elizabeth (sister to Ann Green) Endowment: 29 Jan 1846 Carling, John Endowment: 29 Jan 1846 Green, Ann (parents died on the way to Illinois/Utah) couple married 10 Feb 1844 Nauvoo (John Carling and Ann Green Dutson) Ann was sealed to John Dutson (first husband) 15 Jul 1926 (both by proxy) MANTI Endowment: 3 Feb 1846 Dutson, Jane Ann Endowment: 3 Feb 1846 Dutson, John William sealed to spouse 7 Sep 1858 (Endowment House) Elizabeth Jane Cowley"I was ordained into the quorum [of the Seventy] a very short time before the Temple was completed at Nauvoo, and went through the Temple [3 Feb. 1846] with the quorum receiving my washings in the same and, etc." - letter written by John William Dutson to the 21st Quorum of Seventy dated March 25, 1855.
Endowment: 3 Feb 1846 Green, William (Jr.) died in 1894 in St. Louis, MO Endowment: 7 Feb 1846 Lovell, John (wife died in 1851) sealed to spouse 17 Oct 1853 Ann Parsons (she by proxy) 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: 10 Oct 1855 Smith, Elizabeth sealed to John Lovell 12 Sep 1888 Manti Endowment: 12 Nov 1855 Quayle, Ann (husband died in 1853 in Missouri) sealed to spouse (him by proxy) 19 Nov 1859 Matthias Cowley Endowment: 4 Apr 1857 (by proxy) Andersen, Jens Endowment: 4 Apr 1857 Pedersen, Ane (husband died in 1855) sealed to spouse (him by proxy) 4 Apr 1857 Jens Andersen"John and Mrs. Ane Pedersen Andersen were married a year and half later on 4 April 1857, with the permission of President Brigham Young, he and Ane were married for Time only in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. (John stood in proxy for Jens Andersen and had Ane sealed to Jens Andersen. John is sealed to his first wife Ann Parsons and his second wife Elizabeth Smith, thus, the children of John and Ane are sealed to Jens and Ane.)" - John Lovell history.
Endowment: 6 Jun 1870 Cowley, Elizabeth Jane sealed to spouse 7 Sep 1858 John William Dutson Endowment: 14 Mar 1878 Jacobson, Ole Hansen Endowment: 14 Mar 1878 Dutson, Rebecca Deseret sealed as couple (married) 14 Mar 1878 Endowment HouseAs the Manti temple was dedicated in 1888, much of the family started to be involved in temple work there. Records include some details (including the one below for Peter Anderson) 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.
The book is a record of temple work done for the family of Peter Anderson. This is the first of the two books I received from Maureen. There are copies of several of the pages shown in the restricted section of the website. On the first page it shows the beginning of the work, on 9 Sept. 1890. That page shows the baptisms and endowments only, later in the book it shows temple sealings. On the first day, Peter and his half sister, Castina Lovell Christensen did the baptisms for close relatives, including uncles, aunts, grandfathers, grandmothers and even some friends. Also that day, the first endowment was Peter acting as proxy for his father Jens Andersen, who died shortly after arriving in Utah from Denmark. Over those first three days, there were Peter Anderson, Ane (his mother), Joseph S. Anderson (his brother), Castina L. Christensen (half-sister), John E. Lovell (half-brother), Brigham Lovell (half-brother), Ann E. L. Lyman (half-sister) who all participated in temple work for close relatives.
Also, there is the page I found detailing donations in 1878/9 of time and money for building the Manti Temple. It can be seen here: http://emjacobson.buchananspot.com/histories/TempleWork.html